Annual Gun Buyback Program in Hartford on Saturday

The 4th Annual Gun Buyback will be held from 9am to 3pm on December 1, 2012 at the Community Renewal Team (CRT), 555 Windsor Street, in Hartford.  The program is a collaboration between Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital, CRT, the Hartford Police Department, and the Office of the Hartford State's Attorney. If you have an unwanted firearm in the home, this is your chance to remove the firearm by bringing it in.  Those bringing in firearms will receive compensation in the form of gift cards:

  • $25 gift card for a rifle, or shotgun.
  • $75 gift card for a handgun, or assault weapon.

This single day Gun Buyback program has collected 285 firearms over the last three years.  Of the 118 firearms collected in 2011, seventy-five-percent (75%) were handguns.  The Gun Buyback program seeks to raise awareness about responsible and safe ownership of firearms kept in the home.  Additional information may be obtained by calling (860) 249-1072.

It has been estimated that a gun in the home is 22 times more likely to kill a family member or friend than to kill an intruder. With gun ownership comes the responsibility of storing guns locked, unloaded and inaccessible to kids.  The buyback programs are one of a range of local, state and federal initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence, especially in the state’s urban centers.

Gun Buyback programs have a history in Connecticut that began almost two decades ago with an overwhelming response in 1994, when then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, with the support of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, launched the nation’s first statewide program.  The response to the new initiative was far beyond all predictions – more than 4,200 guns, including 210 assault weapons, were turned in within less than a week.  That brought the statewide initiative to an end and required some state support by then-Gov. Lowell P. Weicker to fill in the gaps left by retailers and corporations that stepped up to support the initiative.

The approach, however, has continued.  Gun buyback programs in Connecticut municipalities – including Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport (55 weapons including rifles and handguns in 2010) and New Haven ( a total of 81 weapons in 2011 and 2012) -  have been more limited but continue to be successful, taking into account the lessons of the state’s initial effort in 1994 and the need to take a varying approaches to limit gun violence.

Said Chief State’s Attorney John M. Bailey in 1994:  "I think it brought reality to the people of Connecticut. That 4,000 guns, including 210 assault weapons, could be turned in in four and a half days made people think how many guns could be out there."