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Thursday, June 02 2016

Turn in Your Unwanted Guns

Adapted from a Northwestern District Attorney’s (NWDA) Office press release:

The 2nd ever Valley Gun Buy Back will take place on Saturday, June 11th, from 10AM to 2PM, at the Greenfield and Northampton police stations.  This event's aim is to get unwanted but working guns out of people’s homes so that these firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands.  All guns in working condition will be accepted, no questions asked, and participants will receive a $50 gift card, as long as supplies last, for each gun returned.

Guns must be unloaded and in a bag.  Ammunition will also be accepted but no gift cards will be given in exchange for it.  Sponsors of the buy back include the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, Baystate Health, Valley Medical Group, and many others.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan emphasized the danger to children of having unsecured guns in houses as well as the greatly increased chance that someone who is contemplating suicide, even briefly, will take his or her own life. “Tragically, it can be a permanent solution to what may be a temporary problem,” Sullivan said.

According to Baystate Health Chief of Trauma & Emergency Surgery Dr. Ronald Gross, almost 40,000 people lose their lives to suicide by firearm every year. Of those people who try to commit suicide, “If they use a firearm, 8 out of 9 will die,” Gross said.  This is contrasted with 1-2 percent of those people who attempt suicide by taking pills or cutting their wrists. “That means that 98 percent can be helped,” Gross said.

At the first Valley Gun Buy Back in October 2013, a total of 301 guns were collected; 160 in Greenfield and 141 in Northampton. Among them were a sawed-off double barreled shotgun, a Colt vintage 22 caliber revolver, and a Davis “Saturday Night Special”. The guns were ground up for recycling at WTE Recycling in Greenfield.

 For more information about this program, please email Chris Geffin.

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