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Phoenix police under pressure to destroy guns

PHOENIX — During three recent buyback programs, Phoenix police collected more than 1,900 guns from people who wanted to get rid of them. Police are now focused on checking each weapon to find out if it was stolen or used in a crime and they don’t have a lot of time.

A new state law that takes effect 30 days after the legislative session ends will ban cities and counties from destroying the weapons as Phoenix police have done in the past and instead require them to sell the guns.

“It’s going to be challenging,” said Sgt. Steve Martos. “The thing that’s working in our favor at this point is the law won’t take effect for 90 days after the legislative session is over. The session is still ongoing and as far as we’re concerned they can keep going for a while to give us more time to process these weapons.”

Martos said the Phoenix Police Department has no plans to hold future gun buyback programs as long as the law requires them to sell the weapons rather than destroy them.