The Santa Fe Police Department and the New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence nonprofit have teamed up to host their fourth gun ‘buyback’ event, where people can hand in guns unwanted into their homes in exchange for a variety of gift cards.
The guns later will be turned into gardening tools.
The “no questions asked” redemption will take place from 9 am to noon on November 13 at Santa Fe Municipal Court, 2511 Camino Entrada, the police department said in a press release.
“No information is kept on the participant who surrendered the guns,” the press release said. “Participants can return as many firearms as they want; they must be unloaded, but in working order.
“Education is a big part of this initiative, where we remind gun owners to make sure they keep track of and properly store their guns to prevent unauthorized access by children or people banned from possessing a firearm, ”said Santa Fe Deputy Police Chief Ben Valdez. .
There have been “too many tragic incidents” of gun abuse in the community, he added.
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, whose mission is to reduce gun injuries and deaths, purchased gift cards for food, gasoline and Amazon races to distribute at the event.
The value of the gift card that each buyout participant will receive depends on the type of firearm they are handing over:
u $ 250 for M1 Garand, AR-15 and AK-47 type rifles.
u $ 200 for handguns and semi-automatic rifles.
u $ 100 for long guns, shotguns and pistols.
Free locks will also be provided to gun owners.
Miranda Viscoli, co-chair of the nonprofit, said the organization has made 13 buyouts in the state and is getting close to nearly 1,000 salvaged guns.
During a 2020 buyout event in Santa Fe, the group collected 196 guns.
If someone in Santa Fe returns the 1,000th gun at the upcoming event, their redemption reward will be doubled, Viscoli said.
“The way I see it, it’s a thousand weapons that could have fallen into dangerous hands,” she added.
Once a firearm is surrendered, officers will enter its information into the National Crime Clearinghouse to determine if the firearm has been stolen. If so, they will take the gun and contact the original owner, according to the press release.
So far, Viscoli said, the federal database has found only four guns collected in a buyout in New Mexico had been stolen.
Almost 40% of the weapons collected are semi-automatic or assault weapons, she said.
Viscoli said the buyback is a place where grandparents, widows or widowers, parents and other household members can safely dispose of unwanted guns.
The guns will be dismantled, then the association will send the metal and wood parts to Rawtools in Colorado, where they will be made into garden tools. Viscoli tools will be sold to raise more money for future gun buybacks.