The Main Stream

Jan 8, 2013 8:07 PM by Lupita Murillo

Gun buy back nets TPD 206 weapons

TUCSON - More than $10,000 worth of firearms were turned over to Tucson Police during a gun buyback on the two year anniversary of the January 8th shootings.

Police report 206 firearms were turned in by citizens.

Lt. Fabian Pacheco says, "Some of the first weapons we received early on when we started at 8:30 two of them came up stolen."

John Luce was among the 200 plus citizens who showed up.

"Just turning in a weapon, even just a few guns is a good way of getting them off the streets," he said.

As Luce was turning over his weapon, other gun owners were wheeling and dealing in the parking lot.

Adam Rodriguez sold several of his weapons to other gun enthusiasts. He says this program might help, by getting weapons out of the house where their children, or out of an elderly person's house.

"As far as getting guns out of the hands of bad guys I don't think this is the type of program that is going to do that with any kind of effectiveness," he said.

City Councilman Steve Kozachik disagrees. He says the folks who held their own gun sales in front of TPD proved a point.

"Buying guns for cash and walking away with no background check if that just doesn't scream for legislation to fix that loop hole they couldn't have made that point any better for me," he said.

The weapons that were turned in will be melted down, and that has some people upset.

"Why destroy something that's of value that could make some money back for the city ."

The event wrapped up by 12:30 p.m. Lt. Pacheco says they had to call in extra officers, and bring in extra computers to do background checks on the weapons that were turned in due to the long lines.

He says they modeled this event after Los Angeles Police Department's program. They also had paramedics on scene as well as bomb techs.

He says the event was a success, as did Councilman Kozachik. The councilman handed out over 200 Safeway gift cards to people who turned in weapons. The gift cards came from private donations, and not the city budget.

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