‘Guns to Garden’ buyback event collects 200+ firearms

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Community organizers collected hundreds of unwanted guns at a gun buyback event in Albuquerque.

It was the 17th year for the event and organizers say their goal is to help curb gun violence across the metro. 

“From every gun buyback we’ve ever done the majority of people are turning them in for safety reasons, they don’t feel safe with a gun in the home. They might not feel safe with a family member being near a gun, a lot of wives whose husbands now have dementia, just not a safe time to have a gun. A lot of grandparents, a lot of people who have inherited guns who go ‘I don’t want a gun, but I don’t want it to get in unsafe hands,'” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. 

The organization collected just over 200 guns total, and of those 18 were assault rifles.

Folks who surrendered guns received a gift card in return. But for a lot of people, that extra perk was just an afterthought.

“I mean we ran out of cards after the first two hours, we went through $26,000 worth of cards. We ran out and people were still showing up with guns, and they say, ‘I don’t care about the gift card I just don’t want to have this gun in my home anymore,'” said Viscoli. 

Organizers plan to donate the unwanted, dismantled guns to a local charter school where students will learn how to forge the parts into gardening tools. 

For more information on the “Guns to Garden” program, click here.