Metro Denver gun buyback sees a hefty haul
Gun buyback drives in the Denver metro area have collected at least 450 firearms since first launching in March, Axios Denver has learned.
Why it matters: Data shows gun-related injuries are among the leading causes of death for youth, Axios' Jacob Knutson writes, citing an analysis of CDC data published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- That figure includes suicides, homicides, unintentional and undetermined gun deaths.
Driving the news: Denver City Council member Amanda Sawyer partnered with Aurora City Council member Curtis Gardner to host the events — which, together with the company RAWtools, turn dismantled guns into gardening tools.
- The next event, happening this Saturday at the Park Hill Golf Course, will be the fifth in as many months, and will run from 10am to 1pm.
- At least 450 guns have been collected since the first drive in March, Sawyer told Axios Denver.
By the numbers: People who voluntarily turn over guns get Visa gift cards in exchange, and the firearms are destroyed onsite.
Attendees can expect:
- $50 for single shot or non-semiautomatic rifles
- $150 for handguns and semiautomatic rifles
- $250 for assault-style rifles (determination made onsite)
Of note: BB, airsoft, homemade and ghost guns can be destroyed, but their owners aren't compensated for them.
What they're saying: "What we see up in East Colfax is that crime doesn't stop at Yosemite [Street] just because Denver does," Sawyer told Axios Denver.
- Sawyer said it's crucial to make the program a regional effort. The first buyback was held at the Empower Field parking lot in partnership with the Denver Broncos on March 19.
- Buybacks are anonymous, though Sawyer said people can respond to a questionnaire. Unlike similar events, the gun buybacks in Denver and Aurora aren't hosted by local law enforcement — another important factor which Sawyer said helps people feel more comfortable with the transaction.
The big picture: Sawyer said she doesn't expect criminals to hand guns over at these events; instead, she said it allows adults to remove guns from their homes to avoid accidents and ensure an unused firearm doesn't end up in the wrong hands.
- An event in Salt Lake City hosted by police collected 103 guns this month, Axios' Kim Bojórquez reports.
The other side: Studies indicate that gun buybacks have mixed results, with one report suggesting most collect under 1,000 guns — not enough to have an impact on possible criminal activity.
More Denver stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.