Taos area residents who have unwanted guns in their homes are invited to bring the firearms into the Taos County Sheriff's Office Saturday (July 7) to have them turned into garden tools.
The event is from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Sheriff's Office, 599 Lovato Place in Taos.
People who turn in their guns are eligible for up to $250.00 worth of gas and grocery cards. The second annual Guns to Gardens Gun Buyback is organized by the nonprofit New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, the Taos County Sheriff's Office and the Taos Police Department.
These gun buybacks are paid for by New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, according to a statement released by the group. "Working with law enforcement we hold gun buybacks throughout the state in order to safely remove unwanted working firearms," said director Miranda Viscoli. "We dismantle the firearms on site. The gun scraps are used to make gardening tools and art. "
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, 401 people were shot and killed in New Mexico in 2016. Viscoli said in a statement that removing unused guns from homes helps reduce the risk of gun-related crimes.
Taos residents turned in 42 guns at last year's gun buyback event.