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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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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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