SANTA ANA ( — The city of Santa Ana held its first-ever gun buyback program Saturday.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the east side of the Santa Ana Stadium, located at 602 N. Flower Street.

Police will accept unwanted firearms with no questions asked.

“We’re hoping that people who have guns… that don’t use guns and don’t need guns… will turn them in,” said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Historically in Santa Ana, many of the weapons used to injure or kill people are stolen, according to CBS2’s Michele Gile.

“Any gun that we can get off the street—often these guns are taken in burglaries and used by gang members to commit crimes—those are the ones we’re targeting,” said Bertagna.

Leticia Mahe said her 19-year-old son, Joseph Castro, was gunned down on Valentine’s Day.

The mother said she doesn’t want anyone to have to lose a loved one.

“I had to bury my 19-year-old today. Over a gun,” Mahe said. “If you could turn in all the guns, that would be great. In the society we live in, I know that’s not going to happen. Nobody ever wants to live through what I lived through. My son was a beautiful little boy.”

The city is offering $100 and $200 gift cards to Northgate Gonzalez Market, Target, Stater Bros. and Walmart in exchange for the guns.

Participants must also prove their Santa Ana residency showing California identification, Matricula or a utility bill.

Weapons must be transported in the trunk of a vehicle.

All firearms will be run to determine if they are stolen. All cleared weapons will eventually be destroyed.


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