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Saturday could be final day of Phoenix gun buy-back

PHOENIX — A massive gun buy-back hosted by the City of Phoenix could end early as the supply of grocery gift cards — which are given in exchange for unwanted firearms — is beginning to run low.

Last weekend, more than 800 handguns, shotguns and rifles were turned in at three Valley churches and $80,000 worth of grocery cards were handed out. The program has about 60 gift cards left over for this weekend, plus 25 more made possible by online donations.

This Saturday, there will be only one location for the weekend buyback: the Betania Presbyterian Church near Thomas Road and 39th Avenue. The event runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but once the gift card supply is exhausted, they will call it a day.

“It’s first-come, first-served this weekend,” said Hildy Saizow with Arizonans For Gun Safety. “Last weekend was amazing. Cars were lined up for blocks. People with firearms they no longer wanted.”

Saizow said, even though May 18 is still a go for the final day of three buybacks, they could be tapped out on gift cards after Saturday.

“We’ll see if additional donations come in. We have had a terrific response.”

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