Gun Buyback Boondoggle



State Senate Boss Don Perata's gun buyback event last Saturday may cost the city of Oakland $170,000 because it attracted too many guns, the Oakland Tribune reported today. Reporters Cecily Burt and Jenna Loceff noted that the first two people in line at one of the buyback centers were "gun dealers with 60 guns in the trunk of their car." Organizers instituted a five-gun limit, but the event still drew more than 1,000 guns — 700 more than Perata had bargained for or raised money to buy. That meant Oakland police had to hand out vouchers valued at $170,000. Gun dealers were attracted to Perata's promise to pay $250 per gun and arrived with weapons they couldn't sell elsewhere. The event was supposed to remove guns from the streets of Oakland in Perata's attempt to stem violence, but one Trib reader summed up the outcome: "I don't see how getting guns off the streets of Fresno and other cities will help cut crime in Oakland."