San Jose police chief unveils ghost gun buyback program

By Jason Green
Bay Area News Group

SAN JOSE — San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata announced a new program on Tuesday that will offer cash rewards for information leading to the seizure of ghost weapons.

Mata unveiled the initiative at a press conference to discuss a non-fatal police shooting at a downtown taqueria early Sunday. A ghost gun, or a firearm that has no serial number and cannot be found, was recovered from the scene, Mata said.

Mata said his agency is focused on getting ghost guns off the streets. Of the 1,108 firearms seized by officers in the past 14 months, 287, or nearly 26%, were phantom weapons.

“Each weapon seized represents a potential life saved or a violent incident averted,” he said.

Mata said his agency plans to reach out to partners who previously supported other gun buyback efforts.

“In partnership with our community, I know we can reduce the proliferation of these firearms,” ​​Mata said. “I believe targeting these types of guns and people who are already prohibited from owning guns is the best and most urgent use of funding to reduce gun violence.”

Mata said cash rewards will be given for information leading to the seizure of a ghost gun or an assault rifle. The amount will be higher for dealer and manufacturer information.

[RELATED: 5 things to know about ghost guns]

Tips can be submitted at www.svcrimestoppers.org or by calling 408-947-STOP (7867).

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Ryan H. Bowman