Emphasize prevention when tackling gun violence

Emphasize prevention when tackling gun violence

960×30 expandable ad On Saturday, people can take the opportunity to get guns off the street. The Santa Fe Police Department and the nonprofit New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence are teaming Saturday to collected unwanted guns from anyone who wants to turn one in — no questions asked. From 9 a.m. to noon at the Santa Fe Municipal Court, 2511 Camino Entrada, individuals can drop off unloaded but working guns — and in return, be given gift cards ranging from $100 to $250 depending on the weapon. Free gun locks also will be available. Once collected, the guns will be turned into garden tools. To date, the nonprofit has repurposed nearly 1,000 guns at 13 buybacks. Buybacks, of course, are just one strategy. As The New Mexican reported Sunday, the gun problem is bigger than a series of buybacks can handle. In a recent, extensive story on the issue, reporter Victoria Traxler focused on how teenagers are able to buy guns easily (“ ‘You wanna protect yourself,’ ” Nov. 7). That’s despite state law making it illegal for anyone under 19 to possess or purchase a handgun (although there is no minimum age to possess rifles and shotguns). Using technology or the occasional obliging older friend, teens who see guns as symbols of power, or who believe they “need” weapons for self-defense, are buying them. As a result, Santa Fe has seen a rash of gun crimes involving young people. Many of those guns, bought illegally, are available […]

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