This week, the Española Police Department announced a new gun buyback program in an attempt to disarm citizens of the city. The event is being sponsored by the anti-gun group New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV), a fringe organization that has lobbied for just about every anti-gun measure proposed in New Mexico.
The buyback, titled “Guns for Groceries” will be held on Thursday, November 19 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Española Police Department, and anyone with a gun can bring it in and exchange it for a gift card to Amazon, Center Market, Food King, Target, or Walmart.
The amounts of the cards vary between the type, with semi-automatic firearms that the group calls “assault weapons” going for $250, semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles going for $200, and long guns and pistols going for $100. The guns will then be “dismantled on-site” and “forged into gardening tools.” Españolans can turn in as many guns as they would like as long as they are in working condition and unloaded.
While introducing the measure, NMPGV co-president Miranda Viscoli said, “There are too many guns,” also saying, “There was one woman who brought in 10 guns, she said she had eight more at home.”
“Once a firearm is surrendered and a gift card is issued, EPD will conduct a National Crime Information Center inquiry on the firearms to make sure they are not stolen. Police state that if a firearm is determined to be stolen, it will be entered into evidence, and the rightful owner will be contacted,” reports KRQE 13.
According to Governing Magazine, gun buybacks are “ineffective” in curbing crime and are a massive failure. “In Seattle, there appeared to be no statistically significant change in gun-related homicides after its gun buyback. A 2002 study in Milwaukee found that handguns sold back to local police didn’t fit the profile of handguns used in homicides. Buybacks, the studies seemed to say, don’t work,” wrote the publication.
The event held by Viscoli’s group appears merely to be a gun-grab, where as many firearms as possible are confiscated from legal owners, while it is unlikely any criminals would willingly turn in their illegally obtained firearms.