Phoenix Police Took in 803 Guns in Latest Buyback, but Just One Assault Rifle

Categories: Guns
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Phoenix police took in 803 guns in this past weekend's buyback program, but just one assault rifle was turned in.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos gave us the final count from this past weekend's buyback event, which includes 442 handguns, 162 shotguns, 198 rifles, and the lone assault rifle.

See also:
-Phoenix Police Took in at Least 800 Guns in Latest Buyback
-City of Phoenix Gun-Buyback Program Not Affected by New Law, for Now
-Jan Brewer Signs Bill for Gun Rights (As in Giving the Rights to the Guns)
-Mayor Stanton Unveils Gun-Buyback Program in State of the City Address

By comparison, our sister paper L.A. Weekly reported earlier this week that in its city's buyback program, 1,172 firearms were turned in, 49 of them were "assault weapons."

The Phoenix gun-buyback program touted by Mayor Stanton and Police Chief Daniel Garcia -- which uses private funding -- does offer a slightly better incentive for people who turn in the so-called "assault weapons," giving them a $200 Bashas' gift card, as opposed to the $100 gift card given for any other type of firearm turned in.

We've written previously about how the Phoenix program might not live too much longer, as a new law -- which specifically bans agencies from "facilitat[ing] the destruction of a firearm," and instead forces them to turn around and sell the guns to dealers -- goes into effect in a few months.

While some people have pointed to potential loopholes in the law to allow gun-buybacks to go forward, with the intended purpose of destroying the guns, the Phoenix program has hit another snag -- since it was operating on a $100,000 donation, that means the buyback program used up more than 80 percent of its funds in the first weekend.

Instead of holding two more weekends of gun-buybacks in Phoenix, organizers have cut it down to one more event -- this Saturday at the Betania Presbyterian Church, near 39th Avenue and Thomas Road.

Police will still accept the firearms after they run out of gift cards, if someone is still willing to turn in one.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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50 comments
valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

I wonder how many firearms safety classes that $100,000 could have funded, and whether that might have been a more cost-effective way to reduce gun injuries and deaths.

For around $100 per student, you should be able to put together a course for people who have a handgun on a closet shelf that they're afraid of.  You could teach safe handling, loading, unloading and some basics of when you're allowed to shoot in defense, and even throw in a cheap lockbox to store it in.  Maybe even subsidize discounted range time.


Francisco Cortez
Francisco Cortez

Great news! but now that Jan Brewer is merely wiping the fingers prints off these guns, and selling them back to the next criminal, what's the point of this gun buy-back now?

cennrenn
cennrenn

Phoenix cops have WAY too much spare time on their hands lol.


www.GotDatAnon.tk

squash
squash

Who gives a fuck if they were mostly non-assault weapons that were turned in? A gun is a gun. In fact, even some handguns with extended clips can be just as dangerous as any assault rifle. Just look at what Jared Loughner did in Tucson. He used a 9mm Glock with cheap, Walmart bought FMJ ammunition and an extended magazine to kill six people and injure another thirteen -- and all in a matter of seconds.

Chris Stuckey
Chris Stuckey

Not to mention, wonder how many of the good ones were bought.by private buyers on the way in. ;) Silly libs... You'll never learn. God bless your twisted little malformed hearts.

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

Pity that majority of the guns bought were from law abiding citizens....meanwhile, illegal aliens and cartel members laugh at the disarmament of US citizens. Have fun walking down the street at night after selling your gun.

loboco76
loboco76

Comparing ours to California's in anything more than total numbers is not terribly useful in that the California definition of an assault weapon differs dramatically from what is generally used here in AZ.   Though nobody really knows what the term means anyway. 



Chuck Jennings
Chuck Jennings

I wonder how many of these were actually functional. Often, many of the guns brought to buybacks are old non-serviceable relics that were in that back of a closet somewhere. These buybacks seem like a feel-good policy that doesn't really do anything.

Cynthia Joy Finnegan
Cynthia Joy Finnegan

Pity the Wicked Bitch of the Southwest is going to resell them and use the money to line her already bulging pockets while violent criminal are killing her constituents.

slicemaster19
slicemaster19

As usual it was probably a bunch of curios and relics, a couple $99 retail cost Phoenix pistols (not bad, $200 card, 100% profit), a bunch of double barrel antiques (maybe Joe Biden can use them) and some guns little old ladies had left over from when their husbands died 15 years ago.

The turn in would have been a success if just 1 gang banger had turned in their gun, but why would they turn it in for $200 when they can make much more than that USING it to commit crimes.

And stop calling them buy-backs. You can't buys something back that you never owned in the first place.

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

How many were serviceable ? Any from Fast and Furious ? Lets remember when the plumbers were arrested at the Watergate no one had a gun. peace

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Since "assault rifle" is a political term, it doesn't really tell us much about what was turned in for $200.

It could have been an old .22 rifle with an aftermarket black (of course) collapsible stock.

It would be interesting to know what it was.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative I'd use that money in a totally different way.  I'd fund a PSA campaign that included TV, social media, billboards and print to encourage people to "Find Another Way."  Find another way to resolve your problems, find another way to resolve your conflict, find another way to deal with your anger.  The problem with handgun homicides is that people know too well how to use the handgun, if only for bad purposes.  I would use those funds to engage in the same type of PSAs that are used for seatbelts or drunk driving to change the culture surrounding the use of guns instead of spending it on buy-backs, which, as I've expressed, take too few guns out of the community relative to the total number of guns that are out there. 

squash
squash

@valleynative Hot dang! That sounds like a great idea - private donors giving away money to teach Arizona residents how to shoot guns. On top of that, we can give 'em discounted (maybe even free!) gun range time... That's the exact type of thing that would get us put on The Daily Show again. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Francisco Cortez  They're being sold to people who pass background checks.  What did you think the point was supposed to be?


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash  In all recent mass shooting incidents, a handgun would have been (or was) more effective than an assault rifle, the only advantages of which are longer range and precision.  Extended magazines tend to be a liability, as Loughner and the theater shooter learned.

The most deadly U.S. mass shooting involved handguns with multiple standard factory magazines, which the shooter was able to change many times, too quickly to allow himself to be tackled by the trained soldiers around him.

In the end, it's the person that is the threat, not the tool he's holding, and mental health care should be the focus of our response.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Cynthia Joy Finnegan  Interesting grasp on reality that you've got there.

These guns will be destroyed.  The new law hasn't taken effect, yet.

Once it does, Brewer won't see any of the money, because she's the Governor of the State of Arizona, while the guns will be sold by municipal police departments.

Brewer didn't suggest, encourage or provide any input into this law.  Just as with 1070, all she did was to accept it from the legislature and sign it into law.

Buy backs have no impact on the crime rate, since so few guns are involved, but making them available as used firearms to people with lower incomes (who pass a background check, of course) will allow them to protect themselves from those violent criminals much more effectively than the police could.   When it comes to violent crime, the function of the police department is to take reports, gather evidence, and hope that the criminal stumbles into their hands.  They serve very little directly protective function.


squash
squash

@slicemaster19 They're called buy-backs because individuals buy firearms and then the city of Phoenix (or whatever else city for that matter) BUYS them BACK from them. Nobody is saying that the city of Phoenix owned the guns in the first place.

squash
squash

@royalphoenix "Lets remember when the plumbers were arrested at the Watergate no one had a gun" -- I shouldn't have to say this, but that is a horrible comparison.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public @valleynative  Yes.  I think this would be better than the buy backs, and would be better than training at preventing crimes of passion.  Training is better at preventing accidents and access by children.  Let's do both. Do you take paypal?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash @valleynative   Possibly, if like you, they interpreted it as teaching people to shoot, rather than, as I said, teaching people to be safe with them.

Honest citizens who have been through training are almost never the same people you later see on the news.  We remain invisible by not doing anything newsworthy, so people who base their opinions on what they see (on the news and in the headlines) vs statistical reports reach incorrect conclusions.


squash
squash

@valleynative It is indeed the person who is the threat - I can agree with that. I know guns don't fire themselves, but the type of weapon used by the person isn't irrelevant. For instance, had Jared Loughner used a bat instead of a gun, there would have assuredly been less fatalities. That said, I don't think anyone can disagree with the fact that we need to keep firearms out of the hands of people like Jared Loughner.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative   quick question for you. if a gun buy-back for gun destruction were to occur after the law goes into effect...........who would be the law-breaker and subject to legal action? would it be the buyer, seller or both?  this isnt a argumentative or needling question, its a serious question

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative @JohnQ.Public I'll set up the nonprofit this afternoon!  I'm serious, too!  For all the talk about mass shootings like Tucson, Aurora and Newton, those are rare and represent a small component of gun deaths.  I just really wonder how much could be accomplished by going into a city like Chicago with all of its gun violence and working to convince people to "Find Another Way."

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash Probably the best strategy would be to walk up to the owner of Shooter's World and say "I've got an interesting idea..." and let him take it from there.  I think the current ammunition shortage has his ranges and instructors under-used and this could generate some downstream business.

squash
squash

@valleynative Hahaha, how about this -  draw up the plan and maybe I'll think about the funding. I think people would maybe be willing to donate but without the shooting part. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash Front the funding and I'll draw up a plan.

These aren't any existing classes.  I was imagining an inexpensive but cost-effective class to get the most good out of a $100 per student. Getting the most bang for your buck probably means no actual "bang".

squash
squash

So these classes would teach "students" when they're allowed to shoot in self-defense, as well as the safe handling, loading, and unloading of firearms, but not HOW to shoot them? I don't know which firearm safety classes you're referring to, but the one I've been to involved firing live ammunition. Actually, that brings up a good question. Would part of these classes "curriculum" involve shooting at targets?   

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative @JohnQ.Public They almost got shut down in the early '90s because they published a peer-reviewed study on gun violence that offended the NRA, but they survived and have avoided studying gun injuries ever since. Their work was instrumental in focusing attention on seat belts as the best method to reduce death and injury in motor vehicle accidents.

squash
squash

@valleynative @JohnQ.Public Haha, I saw VN's whole disease argument coming from the get-go. You set yourself up for that one by mentioning the CDC in the same sentence with guns, JQP. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative @JohnQ.Public Understood, but the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is a component of the CDC and their specific mandate is studying injury and injury prevention.  They study such things as playground injuries.  They played a large part in making bicycle helmets as commonplace as they are today.  The NCIPC would be the appropriate federal agency to study this issue if the funding restriction were not in place.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public It's difficult to make the case that gun violence is a "disease".  It may sometimes be a symptom of a disease, but finding ways to mask individual symptoms of a disease isn't really in their charter, either.

Other agencies compile statistics on gun crimes.  The Justice Department published their conclusions on the effect of the "assault weapons" ban and found that it wasn't effective and could NOT be effective in reducing the number of gun crimes, because so very few gun crimes involve the types of weapons banned.


JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative @squash

Another point, mass shootings (defined by the FBI as 4 or more deaths in a single shooting) represent a very small percentage of firearm deaths. Recent DOJ stats show that there were 11,101 firearm related homicides in 2011. Per Mother Jones news (a very liberal/progressive news source) mass shootings resulted in 19 deaths in 2011. So mass shootings garner the most attention, but constitute a very small percentage of the actual number of firearm-related homicides.Focusing on preventing mass shooting incidents is important, but not likely to yield meaningful reductions in firearm-related deaths.It is the “run-of-the-mill” firearm homicides, e.g. the heat of passion, the enraged jealous lover, homicides committed during other crimes, that are the larger source of firearm deaths and those are what we need to focus on.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative @squash

Yes, we do spend a lot of money and effort to try to prevent of "mass deaths" such as flu pandemic. One of the (many) problems is that federal law prevents the federal government from engaging in the same type of effort to prevent gun injuries because CDC's annual funding authorization contains the following restriction, "None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control." So we don't do what we can to prevent firearm injuries because the CDC doesn't even study them, or fund grants to study them, to the extent it studies other causes of illness or injury because it is afraid of run afoul of this prohibition and spends very little on working to understand the root causes of gun-related injuries

squash
squash

@valleynative No prob. I do appreciate you talking to me. I'm not trying to be a dick, just trying to have some honest discourse. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash @valleynative Absolutely.  We should do what we can to prevent mass killings in the United States, because even though the number of deaths pales in comparison to, for example, the number of deaths from the flu, it's always a national tragedy.

I appreciate that you said "prevent mass killings" and not "prevent mass shootings".


squash
squash

@valleynative I agree, it's absurd to think that we can control every single particular outlet, but that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to and not do anything about the ones we can control OR that we shouldn't try to prevent or reduce mass killings in the United States. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash ...and firebombs and cars and baseball bats, etc.  Firearms are ONE way in which they can hurt people.  A large percentage of mass murders involve blunt objects and fire.  It's not worth trying to control one particular outlet, when they can so easily switch to another, particularly when such efforts impact honest, mentally healthy citizens.

squash
squash

@valleynative Focusing on the person and their mental health goes hand in hand with preventing (or allowing) them from possessing firearms.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash @valleynative And my point is that we need to focus much less on the tool, and to focus much more on the person using it.

squash
squash

@valleynative He might have even used a fork for that matter. The point is, not every weapon is equal.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@squash  He might have used his car or firebombs, etc.  The priority is not to control guns to keep them from getting into the hands of homicidal maniacs, but to control mental illness to prevent disturbed people from becoming homicidal maniacs.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy  There's nothing in the law that would apply to the seller.  It just covers what the government has to do with guns acquired via buy-backs.  My impression is that the buy-backs are anonymous, anyway.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative that answers one form of the question, but i am still curious, would the seller be in legal trouble? it would imply (to me) that if they were, they would have to know what purpose the buyer is intending for the weapon and then open a whole new chain of arguments regarding the sellers rights and or liability 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@danzigsdaddy  Not a lawyer.  But if Phoenix holds a buy back for destruction, they'd be defrauding the sellers, because they wouldn't really be allowed to destroy the guns.  The law requires that they sell them to somebody who will offer them for sale to the public.  I would imagine that if they were to actually destroy them, it would be handled in the same way as if they had decided to destroy any other City property.

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