Hundreds of guns purchased during New Mexico’s buyback program were destroyed and dumped in a landfill earlier this month.
Nearly 600 firearms in total were purchased last year in Santa Fe’s first gun buyback. The police department struggled to figure out how to properly dispose of the weapons and after nearly a year of deliberation, they opted for burying them in a landfill, KRQE reports.
“We had a challenge in disposing of theses guns, we wanted to make sure they were thoroughly destructed so that you couldn’t put any pieces together – couldn’t be reconstructed in any way,” said Santa Fe Police Department spokeswoman Celina Espinoza.
The firearms, which were bought back for $100 to $200 a piece, were first checked to determine if they had been used in any open crimes. Then they were run over with a bulldozer and immediately buried under roughly 500 tons of trash.
However, some of the firearms survived. Fifty antique guns were donated to the New Mexico Military Museum and another 50 unique guns were shipped over to the State Crime Lab to be used in ballistic investigations.
Espinoza says the program was an overall success and a good way for residents to bring in their unwanted firearms.
“The whole gun buyback, I think overall, was very beneficial to the city because it gave people an outlet to bring in those weapons that they might not have felt comfortable with,” said Espinoza.