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'It Can Save A Life': South Coast Anonymous Gun Buyback Event

Dusty Barnes
A gun buyback is taking place Saturday in Santa Barbara

The organizers of a gun buyback in Santa Barbara say that every gun collected saves a life.

How about giving up a gun in exchange for a gift card? That’s what organizers of an anonymous gun buyback on Saturday in Santa Barbara hope will get unwanted or unneeded guns given up safely.

Toni Wellen from The Coalition Against Gun Violence, who are co-hosting the buyback with the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Police Department, says it can save a life.

"A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used against or by its occupants than for anything else," she told KCLU.

"Often times this gun is used for suicide. Young people get hold of these guns or use them either against themselves or against other people," said Wellen.

The 6th Anonymous Gun Buyback takes place at Earl Warren Showgrounds on Saturday, August 21, 2021, from 8 a.m. to noon. Drive in at the Earl Warren Showgrounds Las Positas Entry.

Donors will receive a $100 Smart & Final Gift Card for each handgun or rifle and $200 gift cards for each assault weapon.

The event is designed to protect the identity of those turning in guns, even illegal guns, which are accepted under the supervision of Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD).

Participants will be asked to place unloaded firearms in the trunk of their car and enter the queue.

Police will contact drivers, remove the firearms and provide a chit under the windshield wiper to exchange for the appropriate value in gift cards.

Guns are disposed of under the care of SBPD.