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Safety Concerns Prompt Community to Participate in Gun Buyback Program

GUN BUYBACK 2SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The line wrapped around the lobby of the Springfield Police Department for the gun buyback program.

The wait to turn in a rifle was in some cases upwards of a half an hour, but some didn’t seem to mind. “It’s good because they’re probably going to get a lot of guns off the street and that’s a good thing,” David Gamblin said.

The crowd groaned when they learned police ran out of gift cards. People could bring in any firearm they had, and get a $50 gift card for any functioning gun, and a $100 gift card for an assault rifle.  “The response is overwhelming and it shows that the public is very aware of gun safety and of guns, it’s overwhelming. Much, much more than the police department expected,” Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet stated.

5 years ago at the last gun buyback Springfield had, police say they got 70 guns. This time they say they got that many in the first 45 minutes. Folks there say they had no idea they’d be a part of history. “Currently I don’t have any kind of permit or anything like that, and I don’t need to update it, I have kids, so I’m just trying to get rid of anything that might be dangerous to the house,” Paul Hampton admitted. “I used to go turkey shooting and I quit that about 20 years ago, so I had them laying around the house,” Donald Pinsonnault said.  “To take these guns off the streets is another tool for public safety to lessen the crime rate,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno added.

The event was funded not with taxpayer dollars, but by local businesses. Commissioner Fitchet says that the success of this buyback makes him want to hold another in the near future.

People who didn’t get a gift card got a voucher they could redeem at Convenient Cards between now and April 5th.

Police say they got 333 firearms.

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