San Jose’s gun buyback event brought in more than 400 rifles and hand guns. Community Sponsors supported the project to help curb violence on San Jose streets, which started with efforts by the San Jose Police Department, Interim Police Chief Larry Esquivel, City Council Member Xavier Campos, District Attorney Jeff Rosen, and Assistant District Attorney Johnny Gogo. Dozens of volunteers from the San Jose Police Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forestry Service, Sheriffs deputies and others participated in San Jose’s 2013 gun buyback event.
Crowdfunding, a major sponsor for the event received a total of $18,699 from 72 supporters, helping make the gun buyback program a success. Acting Deputy Chief Jeff Marozick with the San Jose Police Field Operations Division said, “The San Jose Police Department with other organizations reached about sixty-five thousand in donated funds in order to help carry out the event.” Acting Deputy Chief Marozick said, “We were fortunate enough to be able to give everyone a gift card today.”
The event occurred at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church located at 2020 E. San Antonio Street in San Jose. They were a big part of the ground-up operation to help remove illegal guns from off the streets. Acting Captain Brian Ferrante with the San Jose Police said, “More than 400 guns were recovered today.” He added “That is a lot more than we expected,” The major thrust of the program was to help buy back guns, with no questions asked.
Community leaders as well as the San Jose Police department and Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office joined together in an effort to help curb gun violence in San Jose and the surrounding area. Congressman Mike Honda of the 17th District of California, San Jose Council Members Ash Kalra of District 2 and Rose Herrera of District 8 also joined the event as motorists drove in to exchange their firearms for a $100 or $200 gift card from Target Stores.
Those who willingly turned in a gun received a card of $100 for handguns, rifles and shotguns, and $200 for Assault Weapons. However during routine traffic stops, patrol officers are also able to obtain illegal firearms, but these bad guys won’t be receiving any benefit and can face some serious time behind bars.
30-year-old Francisco and 22-year-old Octavio Munoz know just what that means. A complaint was filed against them on November 20 for the possession of ammunition under PC 30305 (a) (1) and possession of a firearm under PC 2990 (a) (1). 41-year-old Jose Lozano, who owned the gun, had brought it with him in his pocket. He is also in a lot of hot water for having a hand gun in his possession after being convicted of sale/transportation of a controlled substance in violation of Health & Safety Code 11352(a), and PC 29905 for the possession of a .22 caliber hand gun.
Lozano said he started drinking with his friends and he brought the gun with him. Insisting that he did not fire the weapon, he told officers that he had offered his friends the gun, and they had fired the weapon at a sound wall located near Ocala Ave and Capital Expressway. Officers following up on a shots fired call were able to identify the suspect’s vehicle from positive witness identification. Gun residue samples were taken from Francisco and Octavio Munoz after finding two spent shell casings, and more than 30 CCI .22 caliber rounds. The trio’s next court appearance is expected in Dept. 39 on Dec 24 at 9:00 am.
The San Jose Police Department’s last gun buyback was in February of 2003, with only 45 firearms recovered. But the result of the buyback programs helped remove more than 285 guns from off streets from 1999 – 2003. However after the 10-year gap, more than 445 gun owners were happy to receive gift cards of $100 and $200 dollars. According to Sgt. Heather Randol with the San Jose Police Department, “These buy backs involved tickets to Sharks games, concert tickets, toys, and restaurant gift certificates.” Target gift cards seemed to be a more popular item for most gun owners wishing to turn in their unwanted firearms.
Photos and video by Amy Nilson