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Anonymous donor foots bill for final Phoenix gun buyback

PHOENIX -- The third "Guns for Groceries" event in Phoenix, which had been in doubt because of funding issues, will go on as scheduled Saturday.

An anonymous donor contributed $100,000 Tuesday, the same amount that was spent on grocery gift cards for those who turned in a gun.

Almost 1,000 guns were turned in during the first two Saturdays of the event. That was the entire supply of gift cards until another benefactor stepped up.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos said the program ran out of grocery cards early last Saturday and had to turn away a few people. Others turned in guns without getting the gift card.

"About 70 people submitted their guns this past week without getting anything in return," he said.

The last gun buyback will held at Betania Presbyterian Church, at 39th Avenue and Thomas Road; Southminster Presbyterian at 19th Street and Broadway Road; and Sunnyslope Mennonite Church at Seventh Street near East Mountain View Road, in the North Mountain Park area.

Martos said this will likely be the last buyback because Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation into law that prevents cities from destroying weapons obtained during buybacks.

That law takes effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.

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About the Author

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

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

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

Favorite news memory: 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. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

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

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

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

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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