WATSONVILLE — More than 600 guns were turned in during the Santa Cruz County Law Enforcement Chief’s Association’s gun buyback event on Saturday.
The event spanned two locations: the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in Live Oak and Watsonville Fire Station 1.
The purpose of the gun buyback program is to provide a venue where community members can turn in firearms that they no longer want or need. The one-day program resulted in 618 guns turned in, which included assault-type weapons.
“We had assault guns turned in, shotguns and many handguns,” said Watsonville Police Sgt. Mish Radich. “What’s good is that these weapons are no longer out there.”
The no-questions-asked program paid citizens $50 per rifle or shotgun, $100 per handgun, and $200 per assault rifle.
By coincidence, the event took place on the same day as the nationwide March for Our Lives, a coordinated chain of marches around the country by people taking to the street to ask for stricter gun control measures. March for Our Lives, which drew thousands of people, stems from a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. where a gunman shot and killed 17 students with an AR-15 assault rifle.