In most places, the buybacks are run by police departments, and with public funds — but Silicon Valley, true to form, is going its own way.

Roger Lee, a venture capitalist at Battery Partners whose investments include Groupon and Angie’s List, was moved by the Sandy Hook shootings. “We struggled with how to respond. We wanted to do something in the memory of those children and to protect our own kids,” says Lee. So he decided to spearhead a buyback program of his own. …

He emailed 15 of his friends and neighbors asking for donations, and word began to spread. In six weeks, he raised $52,000 dollars from about 100 people. …

Last Saturday, people waited for up to two hours to get in to the East Palo Alto City Hall parking lot, a mile from the Apple campus, where they were promised $100 for a handgun, $200 for a rifle or shotgun, and $300 for an assault weapon. Lee was pleased with the results: In all, the buyback reclaimed 355 firearms, including 111 handguns, 227 rifles and shotguns, and 11 assault weapons, as well as detachable magazines, half of a 44-gallon garbage can of ammunition, and one inert hand grenade.