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Congresswoman Speier Emotional as Hundreds of Guns Collected

Rep. Jackie Speier wept briefly as she watched hundreds of guns being collected at Saturday's County gun buyback event.

UPDATE 7:48 P.M.: 

The gun buyback event collected more than 680 firearms, including 24 assault weapons, 338 hand guns and 371 long guns, according to Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Officials also collected a 100-round capacity magazine, 30-round
capacity magazines, a sawed-off shotgun and a Street Sweeper.

A total of $63,500 was handed out.


At 9:30 a.m., the line of cars waiting to enter the lot of the San Mateo County Event Center -- in San Mateo -- for the gun buyback event was so long, Sheriff's deputies and staff decided to start the event 30 minutes early.

By 11 a.m., some 200 pistols, rifles, and an assault rifle or two had been collected, and thousands in cash had been given out, prompting Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Sheriff's deputies to call the event "a success."

Speier (D-San Mateo), the victim of the mass shooting at Jonestown in 1978, was emotional as Sheriff's deputies collected a large assault rifle from one citizen.

As sheriff's deputies showed her the gun and explained its workings the congresswoman shed a few tears.

During a press conference at 11 a.m., 90 minutes into the event, San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks estimated they had already collected about 200 guns, and said he was "overwhelmed at the turnout."

Speier also took the microphone at the conference.

"One thing is very clear - we are a gun-violent society," she said, adding that of the 23 wealthiest countries in the world, the U.S. is responsible for 80 percent of all gun deaths.

"What [this event] shows is that, the people of our County recognize that the time has come to get guns out of their homes and turn them in to a safer place," she continued. 

Rep. Speier addressed some of the criticism over gun buyback events by saying that, even though some of the guns collected came from responsible gun owners' homes, it's still possible they can get into the hands of criminals if a burglar should rob the home and get their hands on them.

"For those that say gun buybacks don't do enough, let me say this - for every gun collected here today, that's one less gun that could end up in the wrong hands and kill a child, kill an adult, or maim someone," she said.

In total, San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, who helped sponsor the event with Rep. Speier, said they had made $58,000 available for payouts that day, but that even if they ran out of funds, vouchers would be given out so that citizens could be paid for their guns later.

Tissier said the $58,000 came from a variety of sources but mainly from community donations.

Patch will update this story as total numbers of guns collected and funds paid out is released by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.


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