Table 3

Selected comments on reasons for participating in gun exchange program

DemographiccharacteristicsChildren <14at home?Continuinggun owner?Comments
HM=hispanic male; WF=white female; WM=white male.
WF, age 45–54ResidentNoMy mother died, leaving me her home and everything in it. Actually, the first action I performed, even before arranging the funeral, I think, was to find and turn in all the guns in the house. (Both my parents were avid hunters and firmly believed in gun ownership. I'm completely opposed to both hunting and guns—especially with a young child in the house.)
WM, age 45–54Frequent visitorsHandgunWe obtained the gun from our son who was living with us at the time. He was having problems with gang members in our neighborhood. The gun was never completely assembled when we confiscated it from him. He got the gun from a friend at school for protection. He had turned it in to a juvenile counselor who would not take it.
WM, age 55+Frequent visitorsNoI have four beautiful grandsons, 11–8–6–5, who are now living in Montana—one year. Before they left one or all were staying with us. I kept the gun in a shoe box on the top shelf of a closet. One day my beloved 8 year old said, “Papa, I bet your gun is in that heavy box in your office closet”—that did it. I love him more than life itself so I took the gun and ammo down the street two blocks to my brother in law, an officer on Sac[ramen]to Police Department—to turn in for me—nothing in the world is worth an accident involving my little ones.
WF, age 55+NoShotgunThe handgun which I turned in was taken from my home in Los Angeles during a burglary in 1971. The gun was new and had never been used. It was recovered by the police almost a year later and returned to me. The gun had been in and out of a waistband or pocket so often that the bluing had been rubbed off. The handle was cracked and chipped and the shell ejection rod was missing. In short, it had seen a lot of use. I have always felt extremely uncomfortable about the gun having been used for criminal purposes. My reason for turning in the handgun was to prevent this from happening again.
HM, age 55+Daily visitorsNoGuns for private citizens should be illegal to possess. If people need a gun for hunting they could rent one. Rental of guns would then be strictly regulated.
WM, age 45–54NoUnknownThis handgun was old and not in working condition and would have cost me more to repair than it was worth. It was simply a way to dispose of it safely and to get limited value for it. I support the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution! I support voluntary surrender of unwanted weapons by those who choose to do so.