Peninsula police agencies will offer cash for guns in a buy-back program intended to take firearms out of circulation.
Peninsula residents who turn in a functioning handgun or rifle will receive $100 cash at the April 6 event.
Participating agencies are police departments from Pacific Grove, CSU Monterey Bay, Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Sand City and Seaside, along with the California Highway Patrol.
Louis Lumpkin, deputy Seaside police chief, said all of the agencies came together on the first-ever Peninsula gun buy-back program.
"The bottom line is we just want to reduce the number of weapons out there," Lumpkin said Thursday.
The event was prompted by a man who came to Seaside police with $5,000 to set up a buy-back program shortly after the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The man wanted to remain anonymous, Lumpkin said.
This week, letters are going out to businesses and charitable groups in the various communities seeking donations to help finance the buy-back program. Organizers say it will be 100 percent funded through donations.
The buy-back event runs 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Roberts Lake, at Roberts Avenue and Canyon Del Rey in Seaside.
"That's a centrally located ... safe location to do this in," Lumpkin said.
It will be a drive-up event only.
In 2009, former Salinas Police Chief Louis Fetherolf organized a guns-for-gifts exchange in Salinas in which 216 firearms, including 60 handguns, were traded for gift cards of $50 to $200. A $20,000 anonymous donation financed the event.
Typically, buy-back programs "take 150 to 300 weapons off the street," Lumpkin said.
A major target are firearms that are in the community but aren't being used by owners. Of course, police don't expect "bad guys" to turn in their weapons, but it could happen.
The program is anonymous and the weapons collected will be destroyed.
Organizers say they will put limits on the amount of money a person can receive despite the number of firearms they surrender.
For information about the Peninsula event, call Kathyn Pernet at 899-6753.
Larry Parsons can be reached at 646-4379 or firstname.lastname@example.org.