Mission lands crowd-funded gun buyback

It’s time to clean out your closet and find those old pesky guns that have been lying around collecting dust.

They’re worth money.

Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor David Campos, local community groups and a crowd funding website have teamed up to remove dangerous weapons from the Mission District in an effort to reduce crime.

The gun buyback program funded by Campos’s discretionary fund and crowd funding website Gunbygun.org will pay $100 for each gun they collect and $200 for assault weapons.

Anyone who wants to trade their gun for cash can drive into the US Bank parking lot at 22nd and Capp streets Thursday August 8 between 6 and 8 p.m. with their unloaded gun in the trunk of their car.

Members from the Central American Resource Center will then pay for them with no questions asked.

Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, executive director of CARECEN said the idea is to remove dangerous weapons from city streets while connecting at-risk youth to local resources:

 “In order to achieve peace in our neighborhood we need to work with young people as individuals and be conscious of the larger systemic issues, like poverty and racism, that cause so many to turn to violence. At the same time, we know that if we take guns off the streets, we can save many young peoples’ lives.”

This marks one of the first times crowd sourcing has been used to remove guns from city streets. Crowd funding is normally used to finance projects where investors receive perks like discounts or early access.

Ian Johnstone, co-founder of Gunbygun.org said he founded the website to give residents a chance to have a direct impact on violence in their neighborhoods:

 “As someone who lives in the Mission and spends most of my time here, I am very happy to know there are fewer guns in the streets because of this effort.”

Johnstone said he hopes to expand the program in an effort to increase the effectiveness of gun buy back programs nationwide after the San Francisco debut.

Anyone wishing to participate in the website’s crowdsourcing effort can donate money until August 2.