More than 300 guns sold at sheriff buy back event

Posted at: 02/23/2013 9:41 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Gun owners got another opportunity to turn over their firearms to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday.

In exchange owners got a gift card worth up to $200.

Private gun buyers were also on hand at the buy-back and so was a local woman who opposed what they’re legally allowed to do on the sidelines.

People returned 326 guns, including two assault weapons, and BCSO handed out $41,000 in gift cards in exchange.

Before BCSO collects and destroys a room full of various firearms, owners are presented with another option outside.

Deputies kept a group of private buyers across the street.

"Paying cash on this side,” yelled the group to the residents lined up.

A cheer erupted every time someone walked over to the buyers instead of waiting in line.

“You're making the right choice here. Saving guns," said a gun buyer.

"Ok, you can have it,” said Herman Padilla. “So I don't have to wait in line."

But among the signs promising cash on the spot was a lady with a different message.

"I think they're violating the spirit of the gun buy-back," said Jill Gatwood of Albuquerque.

Gatwood still remembers how guns changed her life in 1981. "I was working at a store and a man showed up and… held a gun against my back," she said.

Luckily he didn’t shoot her. Now, she doesn’t want guns to somehow get into the wrong hands.

"I think people showing up at an event like this with the purpose of getting guns off the street and [private buyers] coming in to buy them for personal use with no background check is immoral,” she said.

But it is perfectly legal, said BCSO.

"We're not out here to cause any trouble. Like I said I like to collect. I like to target shoot," said buyer Richard Rood.