Police said they plan to hold another buyback program in the future as this one netted an unexpectedly large amount of weapons.
“There are now 39 less guns in the city that our citizens did not want,” Pistone said. “That’s 39 less guns that could have been stolen and introduced to the criminal market, or 39 less guns that some child could have found and tragically hurt or killed themselves.”
Pistone said the serial numbers of all the weapons will be checked against a list of stolen guns, then the weapons will be delivered to the state police to be destroyed.
”We will never know the good that came of the program, but I do know that it did no harm and the chance that we may have saved one tragedy is well worth the effort,” Pistone said. “You have a class of people who have guns at home and don’t secure them properly, so if their home gets broken into you have guns on the black market used in the commission of crimes.”
Fiorentini said this program has been implemented in many cities across the United States and is a proven initiative to help keep stolen guns off the streets. Public Safety Commissioner Alan DeNaro said said this national initiative has worked in many communities and that he wanted to try it in Haverhill. Officials said the buyback program was such a success that police were short 10 coupons. Fiorentini said residents who did not get their gift cards will receive them in the mail.
”Several people told me they inherited guns, that they never wanted them in their house and were afraid someone would find out about the weapons and would beak in and steal them,” Fiorentini said. “One man told me he had them hidden away and was afraid someone would find them.”