Firearms mortality by state

SAFFORD — Members of the public who no longer want a gun around the house will be given the chance to sell their firearm to be dismantled, no questions asked.

Victory Fellowship Church is holding the Gun Buyback program Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon in the church’s north parking lot. All types of firearms are accepted, working or not, with a minimum of a $20 buyback offer for each weapon.

There will not be any required paperwork to complete, and there will be no questions asked about the origins of the weapon. However, each firearm will be taken to the Safford Police Department to be checked to see if the weapons were reported as stolen.

According to Pastor John Neal, the buyback is sponsored by the Community Empowerment Organization. When asked what spurred the idea for the buyback, Neal told the Courier that due to the amount of gun violence, he suspected that certain individuals within the community would want to dispose of their guns in a safe way.

“Some people just want to get them out of their house and off the streets,” Neal said. “There’s a lot of guns out there, and this is an opportunity to get them off of the streets.”

According to the National Center For Health Statistics, Arizona had 1,134 firearm deaths in 2017, for a rate of 15.8 per 100,000 total population. Arizona is ranked within the top 20 states with the highest firearm mortality rates at number 12 in the nation.

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