MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) The 25-minute wait in line is well worth it for gun owners in Marin County Saturday. Eager to get rid of firearms they no longer need or maybe never even wanted. “We just don’t need any more weapons nowadays.” says Mike Felder, a gunowner. 

The exchange was set up outside the Marin County Sheriff’s office in San Rafael. Rosemery Passantino, another gun owner says, “I feel safer without a gun in my house.”

All county law enforcement agencies took part in the event, spearheaded by a gun-safety collaborative including the Marin County District Attorney’s Office and the Mayor of San Rafael.

“It’s been sitting in their closet. we want them out of their houses, because sometimes those get misplaced, they get taken in robberies, and we want them out of our community,” says San Rafael Mayor Kate Colin. 

This is the first gun buyback event held in Marin County since 2016, and local leaders say more are in the pipeline. David Stevenson, another gun owner told KRON4, “I had too many of them, and why keep them in the house?”

The county had about $100,000 to give out, and they collected about 500 guns. Functional handguns, rifles, and shotguns were worth $100 each. Semi-automatic weapons fetched $200. 

Captain Roy Leon of the San Rafael Police Department told KRON4, “Anytime there’s a critical incident or a mass shooting like the one in Texas, it definitely brings awareness.”

Last month, the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas resulted in the deaths of 22 people, including 19 students and two teachers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says gun-related homicides are up 35% since 2019.

Mike Felder says, “You don’t even have to be inspired by the latest one. It’s been going on for so long now, that we as a nation, as a compassionate people, have to learn how to just stop this.” Law enforcement agencies say the guns collected Saturday will be destroyed within two months.