By RAUL A. CAMPILLO
I am proud to report with this update that Navajo residents are a little bit safer in their neighborhoods as a result of an action our city took this past weekend.
I worked closely with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention, and several other agencies to put on the first anonymous SDPD “Guns for Gift Cards Exchange” (GGCE) North of the I-8 freeway. A GGCE is an opportunity for residents to voluntarily bring unwanted firearms to a given place on a given day to turn them in to be destroyed. Residents were given a $100-200 gift card per firearm surrendered, depending on the type of gun. Through this event, we were able to recover 418 guns, including 13 highly dangerous assault weapons. Statistics show that we are safer as a community with these guns off of our streets and out of our homes, especially as we know many guns are lost and end up in dangerous hands every year as a result of home burglaries.
We as a city need to face the facts: We have not been spared from our nation’s current gun violence epidemic. This epidemic is largely caused by the fact that we have too many guns in too many hands. As a former member of City Attorney Mara Elliot’s flagship Gun Violence Response Unit, I have seen first-hand the life-saving effects that common-sense gun measures like these can have. Voluntary gun exchanges are one tool in our toolkit for curbing this epidemic.
It is important for readers to note that this type of anonymous firearm surrender is always an option to residents, but it is only occasionally that a gift card exchange takes place. Residents can always bring unwanted firearms to any SDPD sub-station to surrender it with no questions asked, but there is no compensation for a sub-station surrender.
Have an unwanted firearm but were not able to take place in the GGCE on Sept. 25? Don’t worry, there is another exchange happening soon, hosted by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. To participate, bring your unwanted guns to the South Bay Courthouse at 300 Third Avenue in Chula Vista between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Lastly, I am proud to report that Nadia and I completed the 5 Peaks Challenge in Mission Trails Park on Sept. 5. My best advice to anyone considering this challenge is not to go in early September when it is so hot, and to always remember your water. Despite the heat, though, we had a great time!
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything my Office can assist you with. You can always reach us by phone at 619-236-6677 or by email at RaulCampillo@SanDiego.gov.
— Raul Campillo represents District 7 on the San Diego City Council.