NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The gun buyback program in Hampshire and Franklin counties was described by the Northwestern District attorney's office as highly successful.
Franklin County gun owners turned in 150 rifles, shotguns and handguns to the Greenfield Police department, a fifty dollar gift certificate for each weapon. While Northampton police collected 140 guns including two assault rifles from gun owners in Hampshire County.
Northampton Police Captain Joseph Koncas was clear the purpose of the gun buyback.
“What we've done here is reduce the opportunity for someone to use these guns on themselves, to hurt someone else or we think to perpetrate a crime,” said Koncas.
Will removing guns from circulation discourage depressed people from taking their lives?
Cassandra Bills of Northampton told 22News, “I would agree with the fact that less guns would mean less suicide.”
“I'm not sure because guns aren't the only way that you can commit suicide, so I don't really know If It would make that much of an Impact on the suicide rate,” said Forrest McKnight of Peru, MA.
Others 22News spoke with in downtown Northampton expressed mixed reaction, but they agreed on one point, that the people of western Massachusetts are better off now that these weapons are out of the house and in the hands of police. This was the first joint coordinated gun buyback program in Hampshire and Franklin counties.