- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Elected officials in New Mexico’s largest city have approved funding for a gun buy-back program.

The vote came Monday night, clearing the way for the city of Albuquerque to spend $75,000 on a program similar to those held previously that compensated people for the voluntary surrender of firearms Last year’s buy-back event resulted in 415 unwanted guns being handed over to police.

“We continue to encourage gun owners to keep their firearms secured and to safely dispose of any unwanted firearms,” Mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Gun violence is one of our biggest challenges and easy access to stolen guns isn’t helping.”

According to the city, more than 700 firearms were stolen from vehicles or during auto thefts and another 500 were stolen during residential burglaries in Albuquerque in 2018.

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