SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield Police use the term history making to describe the success of today's gun buy back program. From 10 O'clock Saturday morning until 5PM Saturday, gun owners turned in more than 350 weapons. Sgt. John Delaney the aide to Police Commissioner William Fitchet said, "Worcester collected 220 guns during their two day program. People gave Springfield Police more than 350 during just one day."
22News was there at 10 a.m. as dozens of people lined up to drop off their unwanted guns.
Ted LaBonte of Chicopee said "I'm surprised the amount of weapons that people want to get rid of, and instead of throwing them in a river or letting someone break into the home and take the weapon, we know they are going to be taken care of and secure."
Just in the first 20 minutes of the buyback, police collected at least 40 unwanted guns, many of them, rifles. Many people told 22News they simply didn't want these guns in their homes anymore.
Norman Pronovost of Chicopee told 22News "My health is deteriorating, and my gun has been in storage since 1985. It's now time to get rid of it."
Craig Smith of Palmer said "People break into houses for two reasons, cash and jewels and guns. Guns are money. And if you don't have them in your house, and your house is broken into, a life could be saved."
In fact, Springfield Police face that problem often -- stolen guns being used in deadly shootings.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News "Last year we had a murder in Springfield, and we traced the gun, we got the gun from the murder, and it was stolen in a housebreak just 7 days prior to the murder."
And getting unwanted guns out of the house prevents accidental deaths as well.
Kevin Moriarty, Director of Pediatric Trauma at Baystate Medical Center told 22News "We see a number of children who play with guns that they find at home that aren't secured properly, that have bullets in them, and they either shoot themselves or they shoot a friend or a family member."
In the past between 2007 and 2009 gun buybacks have gotten 400 guns off the streets in western Massachusetts.
Saturday's buyback ends at 5 p.m.