Town of Albuquerque collects greater than 150 firearms when shopping for again weapons

Every returned weapon was checked into a police database to see if it was stolen or part of a crime.

“It will be kept as evidence and will eventually be destroyed,” said APD deputy commander Jason Janopolous.

This ensures that not every weapon falls into the wrong hands.

“Some people have unwanted firearms in their homes that they don’t know what they want, what to do with them, how to get rid of them,” explained Janopolous. “An event like this gives them an opportunity to get rid of them and any weapon we can take off the streets in Albuquerque is a step in the right direction to reduce violence in our city.”

By the end of the event, the APD had collected 166 weapons, two of which were stolen. Janopolous said they also collected many personal stories.

“We get older women who say they or their husbands died and didn’t know how to get rid of the gun. We have heard from individuals that they committed suicide in their families and simply did not want a gun in their home. And then we all say the person who walked in said his son had problems with the law recently and he was banned from handling guns so he wanted to get it out of the house so he wouldn’t get in trouble «, he said.

In 2020, APD saw accidental shootings increase by 15 percent.

“When you have people who are unfamiliar with a weapon and the weapon is removed from this environment, it takes the offense to look at that weapon and play around with that weapon. People who are familiar with guns are very light, it can harm itself very easily, ”added Janopolous.

Thirty-one of the 47 murders that year involved a firearm.

City officials said they hope to do more of these events in the future.

“We understand that there are crime issues in Albuquerque and we are really trying to make a better, safer, better and healthier city for all of us,” said Borrego City Councilor.

“We don’t want gun violence, we want to intervene, take preventive measures and we have also carried out gun lock programs. So it all has to do with the general conversation about safety in the community, ”added Councilor Sena.

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