Phoenix Gun-Buyback Funds Run Dry, but People Still Turn in 72 More Guns
After the funds ran out for the city of Phoenix's gun-buyback program this weekend, an additional 72 guns were turned in to police.
Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos says a total of 979 guns were exchanged for grocery-store gift cards between the two weekends of the gun-buyback program, which was funded by a $100,000 donation.
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-Mayor Stanton Unveils Gun-Buyback Program in State of the City Address
The event was initially scheduled to go on for three weekends this month, but that changed after the event -- which was funded to exchange gift cards for fewer than 1,000 guns -- took in 803 guns in the first weekend alone.
This weekend, Phoenix police cut it down to one location, a church near 39th Avenue and Thomas Road, and exchanged the remaining 100 or so gift cards for guns turned in by citizens.
However, the event continued for a bit, even though the funds ran dry.
Although there reportedly was a gun buyer set up across the street from the event, likely offering more cash in a good amount of cases, people still turned in 72 guns to police, in exchange for nothing.
Now, it's not clear whether such a buyback will ever be held again. Not only would the city need more funding before starting it off again, but there's also a new law -- which specifically bans agencies from "facilitat[ing] the destruction of a firearm," and instead forces them to turn around and sell the guns to dealers -- that goes into effect in a few months. Potential loopholes in the law to allow gun-buybacks to go forward have been pointed out, but it remains to be seen if anyone will attempt to utilize these loopholes.
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.
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