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Statewide Gun Buyback, Gun Safe Giveaway Planned



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A joint group of public safety organizations have announced a #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback and Gun Safe Giveaway Day from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, October 16, rain or shine, at the Newtown Police Department, 191 South Main Street.

The groups include Newtown Action Alliance Foundation, 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, Mothers United Against Violence, Tears for Triumph, Violent Crime Survivors, Guilford Police Department, Hartford Police Department, Newtown Police Department, Norwalk Police Department, and Waterbury Police Department.

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

The buybacks will provide gift cards to individuals who turn in an operable firearm. Nonoperable guns, BB guns, and ammunition are welcome, but no gift cards will be exchanged for these items.

Gift cards will be $25 for single and double shot (derringer-style) handguns and any type of black powder guns; $50 for rifles and shotguns; $100 for pistol and revolver handguns; and $200 for assault weapons (per Connecticut summary of gun laws, to be determined by police; no newly sawed-off shotguns).

Guns must be delivered unloaded in clear plastic bags, and any ammunition must be delivered 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 for homicide and triples the risk of suicide.

If guns are present in the home, they must be safely stored to help prevent firearm deaths and injuries. The voluntary gun buyback and safe firearm storage events in the participating communities will offer an opportunity for gun owners to safely remove their unwanted weapons from their homes and communities.

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

The gun buyback and gun safe storage giveaway day is an important community safety initiative that will help gun owners and their family members to dispose of unwanted and/or unsecured guns to help reduce the risk of homicides, suicides, unintentional shootings, domestic violence, and keep guns from getting into the wrong hands — such as children, individuals who may be facing a mental health crisis, individuals with dementia, perpetrators of domestic violence, and criminals.

Police state that many communities in Connecticut have held successful gun buyback events in the past.

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

Other communities, corporations, hospitals, police departments, or individuals who are interested in sponsoring and/or funding a buyback and safe giveaway event are encouraged to contact Po Murray at pmurray@newtownaction.org or Kristin Song at ks@getcontrol.net for more information.

Newtown Action Alliance Foundation (NAAF) was established after the 12/14 tragedy. NAAF provides comfort, education, scholarship, support and resources to people and communities impacted by gun violence in America.

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

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