, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 17, 2013

Gun Buyback yields arsenal

Initiative succeeds in getting unused weapons off street

NEWBURYPORT — Only hours into the Newburyport Police Department’s first-ever gun buyback program, law enforcement officials yesterday were already calling the two-day initiative an overwhelming success.

City Marshal Thomas Howard said by 2:30 p.m. yesterday, the department accepted more than a dozen rifles and shotguns and five handguns, some of them dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

“Which is way more than expected,” Howard said, adding there was a steady flow of traffic all day.

The firearms — including two-lever-operated rifles that looked as if they came out of an old Western movie — were lined up against a wall in the department’s basement and photographed.

“Some don’t have serial numbers they are so old,” Special Operations Unit officer Charles Eaton said.

Other firearms included two pistols infamously called Saturday Night Specials due to their small size, availability and use in armed robberies and other quick-hit crimes. One of the rifles, a collapsible .22 caliber, was encased inside its stock and could be assembled quickly.

Those bringing in operable firearms yesterday left with Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce gift cards courtesy of the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank. Owners turning in an operable handgun received a $100 gift card. A rifle or shotgun earned owners a $50 gift card, while assault rifles were exchanged for a $150 gift card.

While the department did accept inoperable or antique guns as well, those weapons were not eligible to receive gift cards.

All but gun dealers and those police believe to be gun dealers were encouraged to take part in the buyback program, which continues through at least today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Howard said the program could extend into tomorrow should there be gift cards remaining.

“If they’re coming in and the funds are there, we’ll certainly keep taking them,” Howard said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Special Features