DA’s office organizes gun buyback

Weapons are shown from a gun buyback held in October 2013 in Northampton. A gun buyback will be held April 13 in Northampton and Greenfield.

Weapons are shown from a gun buyback held in October 2013 in Northampton. A gun buyback will be held April 13 in Northampton and Greenfield. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 04-03-2024 11:05 AM

NORTHAMPTON — The Northwestern district attorney’s office is leading a gun buyback event April 13 at the Northampton and Greenfield police departments in an effort to put unwanted firearms out of commission.

People who drop off weapons will receive gift cards in exchange. The program offers $75 for handguns, rifles, and shotguns and $150 for assault weapons. The weapons will then be destroyed.

This marks the third time the district attorney’s office has launched a gun buyback program. A 2013 event collected 301 unwanted guns, and in 2016, residents turned in 273 guns.

“Efforts to curb the epidemic of gun injuries and death must be taken on many fronts. Gun buyback programs are a strategy worth trying because the more guns that are in circulation, the more chance there is for someone to be hurt or killed accidentally,” District Attorney David Sullivan stated.

“Additionally, when guns are present, there is a much higher chance that a suicide attempt will be completed. We see this event as a small step to take as part of a multi-pronged effort to save lives.”

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, six out of 10 gun deaths in the United States are suicides.

According to the gun safety organization Brady United, 117,345 people are shot in the United States annually and 42,654 of those are fatal. Nearly 25,000 die by gun suicide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that firearm injuries are among the five leading causes of death for people ages 1-44, and the leading cause of death among children and teens ages 1-19.

The gun buyback event is organized jointly by the district attorney’s office, the Hampshire and Franklin County sheriff’s offices, and the Northampton and Greenfield police departments with funds from a Safe Neighborhood Grant awarded by Gov. Maura Healey’s office.

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Firearms will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northampton Police Station, 29 Center St. and the Greenfield Police Station, 321 High St. The firearms must be unloaded, in working condition, and in a bag. Ammunition will also be accepted for destruction. Antique guns will be delivered to the Springfield Armory.

After the collection, weapons will be destroyed. The destruction will be video-recorded.