SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 100 firearms were turned in during a Gun Buyback event in Springfield this weekend, and officials say it was a huge success to get these weapons off our streets.

According to Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh, the police department partnered with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office for the program, and in exchange, participants received a Big Y gift card.

Sheriff Nick Cocchi told 22News that police collected more than 100 firearms, including handguns, rifles, and AR-15s. It’s the first step toward hopefully preventing gun violence of any kind, including street violence, and domestic violence, and hopefully, deter suicide attempts.

22News spoke with a Springfield resident about if they think a program like this is necessary.

“I think it’s a good idea because people get mad and they use them,” said Ana Mendez. “I live here, and of course, I’m gonna be worried because there’s guns everywhere.”

Sherriff Cocchi said, that while he’s all for responsible gun ownership, these events collect unwanted guns that are at risk of being stolen. In a statement to 22News, he said, “Being proactive, especially when working with our partners in law enforcement, has the potential to help more than being reactive after a gun-related crime.”

Springfield Police will now process the guns, which will be turned over to “Gunbusters of New England” to then be destroyed.

Local News

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.