Phoenix police run out of gift cards at 2nd gun buyback - New York News

Phoenix police run out of gift cards at 2nd gun buyback

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PHOENIX -

Phoenix police completed the second and last gun buyback in a series of three on Saturday morning.

The department bought back 803 weapons, including one assault rifle, on May 4.

But the police aren't the only ones buying.

A group of private citizens who were looking to make purchases were also out there.

Cars started pulling in early Saturday morning.

Valley residents were eager to turn in their unwanted guns for groceries.

Phoenix police offered a $100 gift card for every handgun or rifle, $200 for assault weapons.

Across the street from the church where police made the trade, a group of private citizens was looking to make a purchase.

"Cash is a little more flexible than gift cards, but if someone has a good working functioning weapon that I can use or my family can use, I'd be happy to pay a little more for it," said Sam Castro.

Most of the buyers are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and don't want to see the guns destroyed.

The department plans to get rid of as many weapons as it can before a new law preventing them from doing so takes affect in about 90 days.

It's not right, it's my right to be as armed as our government is and if our government can carry around AR 15's with 30 round clips, I should be able to," said Bill Dunsmore.

Phoenix police agree the buyers aren't breaking any laws by conducting a private transaction, but a department spokesperson says there's concern that they could be getting in the way of what police are trying to do--take guns off the street.  

"We go through and we are going to determine one, if it's stolen, two, we will determine if it's been used in a crime, and these individuals who are purchasing guns on the street don't have that capability," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos.

The buyers say they had no intention to get in the way and only wanted to protect their right to bear arms and purchase them.

An anonymous donation of $100,000 allowed the department to offer the gift cards in return for guns.

No word on how many private sales were conducted during the buy backs.

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