Tom Nemeth, a realtor with Pacific Union, has begun the process of starting the first ever gun buy-back program in the city of Piedmont. Tom has two daughters at Havens Elementary School. His fourth grade daughter seemed very affected by the recent events in Connecticut. “I want to show her that there are things we can do to make our world just a little bit safer. Hopefully, taking this sort of action will be helpful for the community as well as therapeutic.”
Tom has pledged $1,000 towards the program, which will pay $200 for each working gun turned in to the police department. “I think it has been proven that having a gun in your home can only do more harm than good. I imagine there are many people who have guns in their homes, but wouldn’t know how to dispose of them, even if they wanted to.” This program will give people an easy option for ridding their homes of unwanted firearms.
Other cities have similar programs. This past weekend, over 600 guns were turned in at buy-back programs in San Francisco and Oakland. Piedmont's program will be slightly different. “We have a small town, with a very capable police force. Rather than require that a person bring their gun down to the police station, I’d like to set up the program so that a gun owner can simply make a phone call, and have a police officer dispatched to retrieve the gun at the owner’s residence.” This should increase participation, as many with guns in the home don’t even want to touch them. Many guns are inherited and the new owners don’t know much about them.
Piedmont police Captain Scott Trudeaux was pleased with the idea and is taking step to get city council approval to put the program into place.
While $200 per firearm is being offered, it is expected that many participants will decline that sum. If the initial $1,000 pledge runs out, Tom will seek additional donations to the program. “But even if we can get just five guns out of Piedmont homes, we will all end up just a little bit safer."