The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved nearly $1 million to expand the county’s task force focusing on curbing illegal gun trafficking and armed threats.
The funding, $931,166, will support the addition of five more positions within the county’s gun violence team, which operates under the county District Attorney’s Office.
State and federal grants will support an additional seven new positions with the team, while the San Jose Police Department; county Sheriff’s Office; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the federal Department of Homeland Security will also add positions to the task force.
In total, the gun violence team will expand from its current five positions to 23.
“The more firearms that we remove from people who shouldn’t have them or aren’t properly taking care of them, the more lives we’re going to save.”Supervisor Cindy Chavez
“We need to up our capacity so that every time someone makes a threat, we have the resources to get a court order to remove the gun from that person,” Assistant District Attorney James Gibbons Shapiro said in a statement.
The expanded task force will have the ability to respond directly to gun violence threats once they are reported to law enforcement authorities.
It will also be able to seize guns from residents who are not legally allowed to own them, including those who have committed domestic violence, people who have been convicted of a felony and those who have a restraining order against them.
County officials also hope the expanded team will encourage more residents to call 911 about gun-related threats and emergencies.
“The more firearms that we remove from people who shouldn’t have them or aren’t properly taking care of them, the more lives we’re going to save,” county Supervisor Cindy Chavez said in a statement.