by Mike Kinney
Nearly 50 firearms and two bazookas were collected at a unique gun buyback event held at Richmond Civic Center Plaza on Saturday.
Most of the firearms turned in for cash and gift cards were pistols, while others were rifles, shotguns and assault weapons, Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said.
Two green bazooka-style tubes that were turned in Saturday — called Light Anti-Tank Weapons (LAW’s) — had been fired already, Tan added.
“What’s important about this event – it’s about empowerment,” Tan said. “It’s another way our community can impact gun violence.”
The gun buyback event will benefit the Robby Poblete Foundation, which plans to melt the guns and re-purpose their metal as material for art used to beautify communities.
The Robby Poblete Foundation was founded after a tragic event in Vallejo where Robby was killed by gun violence. The foundation has two parts – vocational training for at-risk youth and young adults, and creating Art of Peace with the firearms collected.
“The symbolic gesture that I believe is so profound is turning a weapon that can be so devastating to something that is so peaceful for everyone to enjoy,” Tan said.
Up to $100 in gift cards were offered for each rifle, shotgun and handgun, and up to $200 in VISA cards or gift cards were offered each assault weapon as classified by the state of California. The event was anonymous, with no questions asked of those turning in their firearms.