NPD Takes In Dozens Of Firearms During Weekend Buyback
As one of the half dozen law enforcement agencies serving as a drop-off point for the 2nd Annual #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback and Gun Safe Giveaway Day on November 12, the Newtown Police Dept played an important role of helping keep four dozen firearms off the street or out of the hands of someone who might be inclined to harm themselves.
The buyback event even saw Newtown taking in one fully operational assault weapon, and the operational parts of a second such weapon. Additionally, besides one antique (but operational) black powder rifle, the NPD accepted 11 revolvers, 15 pistols, six shotguns, and 13 rifles.
While a range of gift cards was offered to those making drop-offs with denominations depending on the types and quantity of weapons presented, the NPD also distributed 35 pin code gun safes free of charge to those with a valid gun permit.
The local department participated for the second year running in collaboration with Guilford, Middletown, and Stamford police agencies as well as the Hartford Police Dept, which collected 47 firearms including one AK-47 assault rifle, and the Waterbury PD which took in 59 firearms including one AR-15 assault rifle.
Additional partners and supporting agencies for the buyback included Newtown Action Alliance (NAA) Foundation, Ethan Miller Song Foundation, Humanium Metal, Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Saint Francis Hospital, Hartford Hospital, CT Against Gun Violence Education Fund, CT Violence Intervention Program, Mothers United Against Violence, and Violent Crime Survivors.
As he looked over the collection of guns taken in, Newtown Police Chief David Kullgren praised the NAA for its coordinated efforts across the law enforcement agencies participating, and expressed surprise that Newtown’s collection represented more firearms than were taken in in Hartford, and just a few less than Waterbury.
This year, the buyback & safe storage giveaway events in the communities were planned for Veteran’s Day Weekend to shine a light on the devastating impact of gun suicides in the veteran community.
According to the NAA, in 2020, 45,222 Americans were killed by guns and 24,292 of these deaths were due to gun suicides. Additionally, guns are used by non-veteran US adults to complete suicides 50% of the time.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, there were 6,146 veteran suicides or an average of 17 per day in America in 2020 and roughly 70% of these deaths were due to firearms use.
In Connecticut, 219 people died from guns in 2020 and nearly 40 veterans died from all forms of suicides, with guns being used 55% of the time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that 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 were 100% anonymous.