Phoenix Police Took in 803 Guns in Latest Buyback, but Just One Assault Rifle

Phoenix police took in 803 guns in this past weekend's buyback program, but just one assault rifle was turned in.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos gave us the final count from this past weekend's buyback event, which includes 442 handguns, 162 shotguns, 198 rifles, and the lone assault rifle.

See also:
-Phoenix Police Took in at Least 800 Guns in Latest Buyback
-City of Phoenix Gun-Buyback Program Not Affected by New Law, for Now
-Jan Brewer Signs Bill for Gun Rights (As in Giving the Rights to the Guns)
-Mayor Stanton Unveils Gun-Buyback Program in State of the City Address

By comparison, our sister paper L.A. Weekly reported earlier this week that in its city's buyback program, 1,172 firearms were turned in, 49 of them were "assault weapons."

The Phoenix gun-buyback program touted by Mayor Stanton and Police Chief Daniel Garcia -- which uses private funding -- does offer a slightly better incentive for people who turn in the so-called "assault weapons," giving them a $200 Bashas' gift card, as opposed to the $100 gift card given for any other type of firearm turned in.

We've written previously about how the Phoenix program might not live too much longer, as 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 -- goes into effect in a few months.

While some people have pointed to potential loopholes in the law to allow gun-buybacks to go forward, with the intended purpose of destroying the guns, the Phoenix program has hit another snag -- since it was operating on a $100,000 donation, that means the buyback program used up more than 80 percent of its funds in the first weekend.

Instead of holding two more weekends of gun-buybacks in Phoenix, organizers have cut it down to one more event -- this Saturday at the Betania Presbyterian Church, near 39th Avenue and Thomas Road.

Police will still accept the firearms after they run out of gift cards, if someone is still willing to turn in one.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley