The City of Santa Fe has removed the list of people who participated in Operation Safe Streets, gun buy-back from their website.
Last week this blog detailed here, the firearm buy-back as explained to citizens verses how it was actually handled after the city was forced to hand out IOUs when all the funds allocated for the program were used. Though anonymity was advertised as a beneficial factor of the program, the city later released pages of data including name, address and phone number of participants.
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.
The removal of the pdf from the City of Santa Fe website with participants data may have been because of pressure from citizens like Representative Egolf whose information was released on last week's list, or the feedback from people across the country who expressed concern about the safety of those who participated in Operation Safe Streets. Egolf, among many other citizens, was surprised when he found that the city had released the information:
“My recollection was that it was announced as an anonymous thing. It’s unfortunate that this happened because there are people who may have a criminal tie to a firearm. This is really going to hurt the city’s efforts at future gun buybacks.”
Now that these people are disarmed (or perhaps in some cases, only less-armed) and their information is out there it is quite possible that criminals will feel that they can freely target these people as defenseless victims.
The City of Santa Fe, has already released the information and once on a public platform it is impossible to know how many people may have used the data provided and who saved and downloaded the information released (in this case a 54-page pdf).