"Operation Safe Streets"

City of Santa Fe Gun Buyback




Event Description

In partnership with Wells Fargo Bank, the Santa Fe Police Department will provide three open opportunities to participate in the City of Santa Fe’s Gun Buy-Back Program dubbed Operation Safe Streets.  The goal of the program is to provide a safe way for members of the community to dispose of unwanted firearms and keep these weapons from ending up in the hands of criminals. The program has been developed at the direction of Mayor David Coss.

“We have seen too many tragedies hit communities across this country not to take every possible action to reduce gun violence. I am committed to working with state and federal lawmakers to find solutions and to implement anything we can at the city level. I am optimistic that a gun buy-back program will help keep guns from tragic uses and out of the hands of criminals,” said Mayor David Coss.

First “Operation Safe Streets” Gun Buyback Netted 194 Firearms

The first gun buyback was so successful all of the Visa gift cards were given away before the 3 p.m. close.

Wells Fargo is co-sponsoring the effort by absorbing the transaction fees associated with the Visa gift cards used for payment. The City will provide the Visa gift cards in return for operational firearms. No identification will be required to participate and participation in the gun buyback can be anonymous. The City will pay $150 for any operational handgun, $100 for any operational long gun (rifle or shotgun), and $200 for any operational high capacity or assault weapon (an “assault weapon” is any semi-automatic, magazine fed, military style rifle or carbine). Other types of weapons may be turned in for destruction without payment including non-operational weapons and imitation and/or low-powered air weapons which are difficult to distinguish from real weapons and therefore pose a danger. No payment will be made for non-operational weapons or imitation and/or low-powered air weapons.

“There are too many crimes and tragedies involving firearms in this city and throughout the county.  I’m glad we are finally able to work on a preventative program that can help educate the community and reduce the number of firearms available,” said Police Chief Raymond Rael.

Location of all Gun Buybacks:
SFPD Headquarters – 2515 Camino Entrada SF, NM.

·        Saturday, February 9, 2013: 9 a.m. –  3 p.m.
·        Saturday, March 9, 2013: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

All firearms accepted under this program will be destroyed by cutting, burning, chopping and/or any other method which will render the weapon inoperable.


Operational Plan

In 2012, the United States was faced with an increasing domestic threat. This threat came in the form of active shooters in public locations. From a movie theater in Colorado, to recently, a grade school in Connecticut, firearms in the hands of deviant persons has given the nation cause for the safety of their families and themselves. On December 21, 2012, City of Santa Fe Mayor David Coss took strides to reduce this threat by announcing his intention to begin a Gun Buy-Back Program. This program would encourage residents to sell their firearms to the City ensuring the guns would not fall into the hands of persons seeking to do harm. The City Manager and Police Chief have been asked to identify $25,000 to launch the program and offer payment to persons who turn in their operational firearms. The emphasis for the program would be on high capacity and high rate-of-fire weapons such as assault rifles, other semi-automatic guns and handguns. It is a hope that our community will not experience the same tragedy as the citizens of other unfortunate cities.


With the identity of the funds necessary for implementation of the Gun Buy-Back Program, the City of Santa Fe will utilize funds to purchase unwanted firearms from the public for safe disposal. In order to obtain the desired weapons of this program, the Santa Fe Police Department will not be recommending firearms-related criminal charges that may otherwise apply. In a sense, this program will be considered a Firearms Buy-Back operation. This Operation will be in effect from January to March 2013.

Reducing the number of unwanted firearms and offering anonymity if the weapons are turned in during the operational period, may reduce the likelihood of them falling into the hands of criminals through residential burglaries, narcotics transactions, etc.


The Santa Fe Police Department will make every effort to implement the Gun Buy-Back Program through administration of the operation, identifying funds, providing guidance and manpower.

Operational Procedures


Operation Safe Streets is an opportunity for people to turn in firearms, no questions asked. This includes if the weapon has been used in a violent crime or is stolen. No identification will be required to participate. Citizens may bring any unloaded and operational firearms to the Santa Fe Police Department Headquarters on any of the three dates of the operation: January 12th, February 9th, and March 9th.

In order to receive anonymity, citizens wanting to participate in the program will be required to turn in their weapons during the dates and times of the operation or by contacting the departmental liaison. If a citizen is found in possession of a stolen, altered or evidentiary weapon outside the scope of the operation, that person will be subject to any and all laws or ordinances which may be applicable. Simply put, if a person is detained and/or arrested by police in other criminal circumstances, they may not claim anonymity.

Firearm Acceptance Terms

The safe disposal of any and all operational automatic and/or semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns is the focus of Operation Safe Streets. A police armorer will be on site during the scheduled dates to determine if the submitted firearm is operational and safely unloaded.