STAMFORD, Conn. — If you have a gun you want to get rid of, take it to Stamford Police headquarters Saturday during the first of two firearm buyback days slated this month in the city.
“The idea is to get these things off the streets and dispose of them,” Officer Joseph Steyer said. He added that 25 percent of all violent crimes in Stamford in 2012 involved a firearm.
The second buyback day is Dec. 15 at the First Congregational Church, 1 Walton Place. Police Headquarters is at 805 Bedford St. Both programs will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The department will trade giftcards in various amounts for operational guns based on the type of weapon, Steyer said. He would not specify how much a particular firearm would receive.
Non-operational firearms, ammunition, carrying cases, and holsters will also be collected, but not for reimbursement.
The First Congregational Church approached police to find out what it could do to reduce the violence in the city after several shootings this past summer, Capt. William Mullin, said. He added that the idea of a buyback was brought up at a meeting in August.
“You need the community to be involved to reduce the violence,” he said.
People turning in guns will have to fill out forms for liability purposes, and the department will give amnesty to people turning in weapons without permits, Steyer said. If you bring in a gun without a permit, you can’t leave with it, whereas a person with a permit can, he said.
Guns will be checked to see if they were used in crimes before going to the state for disposal, he said.
The last buyback program in Stamford was 11 years ago, when 67 firearms were turned in, a release said. The department is hoping to collect more this year, the release said.
Steyer would like to have regular gun buyback events, but the police foundation needs the funds to hold them. “Two days isn’t enough,” he said, adding that other cities have them annually and receive many guns each year.
Here are the rules for the buyback:
▪ All firearms must be unloaded.
▪ Weapons should be transported in a vehicle’s trunk.
▪ If carrying by hand, the firearm needs to be in a bag or box.
▪ Ammunition should be transported separately from the gun.
▪ Stamford residents and non-residents can participate, but businesses don’t qualify.
▪ Firearms considered junk will not be accepted.
If you have questions about the program, call Steyer at 203-977-4916, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.