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For tenth year, United Playaz gun buyback strives for safer San Francisco streets

United Playaz this Saturday will conduct its annual gun buyback program in effort to get weapons off the streets of San Francisco. It’s the 10th year the youth organization has held the event.

Advocates against gun violence joined city officials on the steps of City Hall to share stories about how gun violence affected them and how important the event is due to recent gun violence incidents and the rise of persons obtaining ghost guns — guns that have no serial numbers that can be bought online and put together at home.

Rudy Corpuz Jr., executive director of United Playaz, said he is not against the Second Amendment and that everyone has the right own a gun, but added that guns are ending up in the wrong hands of people, citing recent gun violence in the Bay Area:

You got kids who are getting killed. Two-years-old, sleeping in the back of a car, just trying to get home.”

He also mentioned the recent fatal shooting of security guard Kevin Nishita, who was in Oakland with a local TV station news crew when Nishita was shot and killed when suspects tried to steal the news crew’s camera. A memorial was held Thursday for Nishita.

Mayor London Breed Wednesday signed Supervisor Catherine Stefani’s legislation that prohibits any person from selling, distributing and possessing a ghost gun in The City.

Data from the San Francisco Police Department presented to the Board of Supervisors earlier this year showed officers recovering 164 ghost guns in 2020 compared to 97 in 2019.

Breed said she is asking people to turn in their guns at the buyback event:

Put down the weapons here’s your opportunity. No questions asked. Turn in your guns. Let’s have peace on our streets. Let’s have love on our streets.”

Corpuz said there will be no questions asked when people turn in their guns on Saturday. Those who turn in their guns will receive $100 for handguns and $200 for assault weapons.

The event will be held at the United Playaz office at 1038 Howard St. from 8 a.m. to noon.

Also this weekend, San Mateo County officials are holding a gun buyback event in San Carlos on Saturday, the first of five such events the county will hold through 2023.

People can turn in firearms with no questions asked and will receive $100 per handgun, shotgun or rifle and $200 per assault weapon, and will also be able to turn in ammunition but will not receive additional compensation for it. Free gun locks will be provided while supplies last, county officials said.

San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos and county Supervisors Dave Pine and Don Horsley are among the expected attendees at Saturday’s event, which is being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1000 Skyway Road in San Carlos.

San Mateo county collected more than 1,200 weapons during three similar events in 2018 and 2019.

Bay City News also contributed information for this report.

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