Salt Lake City gun buyback event yielded more than 100 surrendered firearms

The event was the first gun buyback the police department has hosted in Salt Lake City in more than 20 years.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Paul Mazzie, right, turns in his father-in-law's Armalite AR-18, Saturday, June 11, 2022. In an effort to get guns off the streets, Utahns were encouraged to turn in their firearms during Saturday's gun buyback event at the Salt Lake City Police Department following a series of mass shootings across the U.S. in recent weeks.

Community members turned in more than 100 guns as part of a gun buyback event Saturday, with many saying that they wanted to make sure their firearms would not end up on the streets, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said.

In total, officers collected 103 guns, including 38 rifles, 28 revolvers, 24 pistols and 13 shotguns. Five of the surrendered weapons had been previously reported as stolen, according to a news release. Residents were given a gift card in return.

“Today, there are 103 fewer firearms out in our community, which means 103 fewer guns that could end up in the hands of a person willing to inflict harm,” Brown said in a statement.

“We would be naïve to think this will be the solution to gun crimes in our community,” he continued, “but the Salt Lake City Police Department is fully committed to doing everything we can to reduce the chance of a firearm being used illegally, lost, stolen or abandoned.”

(Salt Lake City Police Department) More than 100 guns were collected at a gun buyback event Saturday.

Last week, Brown described gun violence as an “epidemic” and said he supports raising the minimum age to purchase firearms. Protesters marched against gun violence in Salt Lake City on Saturday and also participated in a March for Our Lives rally.

The guns collected Saturday will either be destroyed or removed from circulation — donated to the Salt Lake City’s Police Mutual Aid Association’s museum or surrendered to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Crime Lab, police said. According to an SLCPD video about the crime lab, the department maintains a library of all types of guns for firearms testing.

The event was the first gun buyback hosted by the police department in Salt Lake City in more than 20 years, the release said. People were invited to relinquish any firearms or ammo they wanted to take out of circulation without showing ID or answering any questions.

The police department said in the release that it plans on holding another such event in the future.

Until then, community members can still turn in unwanted firearms anytime by calling 801-799-3000. However, gift cards won’t be provided, and the surrender would be documented in a police report.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hundreds of Utahns marched from West High School to the Capitol, Saturday, June 11, 2022, during the March For Our Lives SLC event. The march is in response to the most recent shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo and Tulsa to demand action from Utah legislators and congressmen to enact gun safety laws.