Arizonans for Gun Safety: Donations needed for buyback program - Tucson News Now

Arizonans for Gun Safety: Donations needed for buyback program

CBS 5 CBS 5
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Phoenix police have exchanged hundreds of gift cards for guns during the past two weekends.

In fact, this month's Groceries for Guns buyback program has been such a success, it might be ending early.

Arizonans for Gun Safety and the city of Phoenix teamed up for this program, thanks to an anonymous $100,000 donation.

Police have handed out $100 Basha's gift cards for each handgun, shotgun or rifle turned in.

Gift cards equaling $200 were given for assault rifles.

Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said they ran out of gift cards Saturday morning, but that didn't stop about 50 people from turning in their guns for free.

"I think it speaks volumes as to what this community believes about this event," said Martos. "It believes in what we're doing and wants to be a part of it. And, that's what we've said from the beginning - is that this is a community effort to try and take guns off the street."

He said police have collected more than 950 guns so far - about 800 last weekend and another 150 on Saturday.

Once all of the guns are processed, those not found to be stolen or used in a crime will be destroyed.

The Groceries for Guns program has one more buyback scheduled for Saturday, May 18.

But that won't happen unless it gets a cash infusion.

Arizonans for Gun Safety is accepting donations to purchase more gift cards.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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