The community will have another opportunity tomorrow to participate in the county’s Safe Surrender and Gun Buy-Back Program, which allows people to turn in firearms to authorities, no questions asked and receive compensation in return.
At the first gun buy-back on Feb. 9, seven assault rifles, 173 handguns and 122 rifles were turned in and $40,000 in VISA gift cards were paid out.
“Bernalillo County has secured an additional $50,000 to fund this second phase of the gun buy-back program and I am pleased that we had such a successful turnout earlier this month,” says program sponsor, Commissioner Debbie O’Malley. “I want everyone to understand that our partnering with Crime Stoppers will ensure complete anonymity to those turning in their guns this Saturday.”
On Saturday, Feb. 23, individuals may bring any unloaded, operational firearms to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department South Area Command Center, 2039 Isleta Blvd. SW, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
During Saturday’s firearms buy-back, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department will be on-hand to make sure the guns are in working condition and are not loaded before being surrendered. All weapons will be checked for lost or stolen status, and if applicable will be returned to their rightful owners. All other firearms will be prepared for destruction by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department. Crime Stoppers representatives will be present to ensure complete anonymity.
The following requirements will apply for acceptance to the firearms buy-back program:
Working firearms that are no longer wanted by the owner
Working firearms that have been inherited from a family member which are no longer wanted
Working firearms that have been altered or modified
Participants will be paid with VISA gift cards if the firearm meets those requirements. The payment for each type of weapons will be:
$150 for any working handgun
$100 for any working long gun (rifle or shotgun)
$200 for any working high capacity or assault weapon system. An “assault weapon” shall be any
semi-automatic, magazine-fed, military style rifle or carbine
Any non-working weapons, ammunition, or any imitation and/or low-powered air weapons, which are difficult to distinguish from real weapons and therefore pose a danger, may be surrendered for destruction; however, no payment will be made.
Further information including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Bernalillo County Safe Surrender and Buy-Back Program can be found at www.bernco.gov.
The Sheriff's Department is also planning to offer gun safety training classes at all three area command centers in the near future. In addition to the trainings, the sheriff will purchase gun safety locks to be given out “free” to those who attend the gun safety classes.
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