All weapons being turned in must be unloaded and delivered in a bag. Ammunition is also being accepted, but must be placed in a separate bag.
Once the program is over, firearms turned into police will be picked up by state officials and disposed of. A private contractor has been hired to dispose of all turned-in ammunition.
Although the initiative had been in the works, Howard said it only made more sense to introduce it in light of last month’s massive shooting inside a Newtown, Conn., elementary school killing 27 people, most of them children. If the program helps prevent another Newtown massacre, “then that’s an added benefit,” Howard said.
Howard reminds gun owners that transporting firearms without a permit is a criminal offense. If a resident is unlicensed or fears transporting a firearm to the station, a police officer will stop by the person’s home to retrieve their gun.
Howard and Eaton both said the buyback program has eased the minds of many with unwanted firearms, including one grandfather who said his grandson had begun eyeing some guns he had recently inherited. Another person said she had been holding on to her late husband’s firearm for too long and had been looking for a way to get rid of it.
For more information on the gun buyback program, call the Police Department at 978-462-4411.