EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — New Mexico State Police removed more than 400 firearms from the state’s streets during three gun buyback events held Saturday, Nov. 4.

People anonymously handed in unwanted firearms and received Visa gift cards in return. “Buybacks were intended to prevent unwanted or unneeded weapons from causing harm or being used to commit acts of violence,” according to a news release sent out by NM State Police.

A total of 439 firearms were collected from the event.  Albuquerque collected 56 handguns and 54 rifles.  Las Cruces collected 31 handguns and 56 rifles.  Espanola collected 19 handguns and 63 rifles.  After all gift cards from the three locations were distributed, 160 more unwanted firearms were handed in. 

The total number of handguns collected from the three locations was 179, and the number of rifles collected from the three locations was 260.

Out of 439 firearms collected, two stolen firearms were recovered. 

“This was a proactive measure to help reduce the risk of tragedies involving guns. We wanted to help remove unwanted guns from our communities and prevent the risk of deadly accidents, homicides, and suicides” said Troy Weisler, chief of the New Mexico State Police.