By Robert J. Mullins Senior Staff Writer CrowdFundBeat Dec. 17, 2013 — A crowdfunded organization raised close to $19,000 to fund a gun buyback program in San Jose, Calif., held on December 14, the first anniversary of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
A group calling itself GunByGun collected donations from 72 people to raise the money to provide $100 gift cards to people for each handgun or shotgun and $200 cards for each assault weapon turned in to the San Jose Police Department. Crowdfunding also raised money in nearby Oakland where people turning in their guns received the same amount of money in cash, according to news reports. Gun buybacks the same day in Los Angeles and San Francisco were funded those cities. The guns collected were to be destroyed. On its crowdfunding Web site, GunByGun reports it is planning more gun buybacks in New York City, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Detroit, San Diego and possibly more cities. The organization says that fewer guns mean fewer deaths in American cities and cited a statistic from the American Journal of Public Health that a 1 percent increase in gun ownership correlates to a 0.9 percent increase in homicides. A video on GunByGun touts crowdfunding as a way for people do something to curb gun violence so “you don’t have to wait for someone else to do something in Sacramento or Washington.”
Crowdfunding has funded other efforts to curb gun violence in the U.S. A University of Alabama scientist raised $19,000 to fund research into public policy on guns. And a crowdfunding project called Crowd It Forward raised $1,300 for the families of victims of the gun rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington in September and close to $6,000 for the victims and families of gun violence in Chicago.