Statewide gun buyback, gun safe giveaway scheme

Published: September 25, 2021 07:00 AM

A joint group of public safety organizations has announced #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback and Gun Safe Giveaway Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 16, Rain or Shine, at Newtown Police Department, 191 South Main Street.

Groups include the Newtown Action Alliance, Ethan Miller Song Foundation, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Saint Francis Hospital, Connecticut Against Gun Violence Education Fund, Swords to Plowshares Northeast, Wilton Quaker Meeting, Connecticut Violence Intervention Program, and Mothers United v. Violence, Tears for Victory, Violent Crime Survivors, Guilford Police Department, Hartford Police Department, Newtown Police Department, Norwalk Police Department, Waterbury Police Department.

These events, along with other planned buyback and safe giveaway events in Guilford, Hartford, Newtown and Waterbury, are 100% anonymous; Therefore, identification is not required and no questions will be asked. Identification will be required at the Norwalk repurchase event. Weapons must be transported to the scene of the event in the trunk of the car.

Repurchases will provide gift cards to individuals who surrender an operable firearm. Unplayable guns, BB guns, and ammo are welcome, but gift cards will not be exchanged for these items.

Gift cards cost $25 for single- and double-shot pistols (similar to a derringer) and any type of blackpowder pistol; $50 for rifles and shotguns; $100 for a revolver and pistol; and $200 for assault weapons (as per a summary of Connecticut firearm laws, determined by police; no freshly chopped rifles).

The guns must be delivered empty in clear plastic bags, and any ammunition must be placed in a separate bag in the trunk of the car. Note that COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly enforced. All participants must wear a mask and comply with all social distancing guidelines.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a gun-free home is the safest home for children and teens. Having a gun in the home doubles an individual’s risk of being killed and triples the risk of suicide.

If guns are to be found in the home, they should be stored safely to help prevent gun deaths and injuries. Voluntary gun buyback events and safe gun storage in participating communities will provide an opportunity for gun owners to safely remove their unwanted guns from their homes and communities.

These events will also promote gun safety and the safe storage of firearms. For gun owners who want to keep their guns but are looking for a responsible way to better secure their guns, a limited supply of biometric gun safes will be provided free of charge to those with a valid gun permit.

Donation Day for Gun Purchase and Safe Storage of Firearms is an important community safety initiative that will help gun owners and their family members dispose of unwanted and/or uninsured guns to help reduce the risks of homicide, suicide, unintentional shootings and domestic violence and prevent guns from falling into the hands. Wrong – eg children, individuals who may be facing a mental health crisis, individuals with dementia, perpetrators of domestic violence, and criminals.

Police reported that several communities in Connecticut have held successful gun buyback events in the past.

Last year, Guilford Police collected 198 firearms, which included: 21 BB/Pellet rifles, three Deringer types, 90 pistols, 79 shotguns, and five assault weapons. In June, Hartford Police collected a total of 59 guns including 41 pistols, eight shotguns, 9 shotguns and one assault rifle. Last June, Waterbury Police collected 32 rifles, including 23 pistols and 9 long rifles. Newtown Police is holding its first event this year.

We encourage other communities, corporations, hospitals, police departments, or individuals interested in sponsoring and/or financing a safe buyback and giveaway event to contact Po Murray at pmurray[email protected] or Kristen Song at [email protected] for more information.

The Newtown Action Alliance (NAAF) was founded after the 12/14 tragedy. NAAF provides relief, education, scholarships, support, and resources to people and communities affected by gun violence in America.

Its goal is to help all American communities move forward together to create positive cultural change toward a more peaceful and less violent future.

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