SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Every year, gun violence is responsible for thousands of homicides and suicides in the U.S.
The Hampden County DA partnered with Baystate Health Saturday to provide residents an easy way to get guns out of their homes.
“This is harm reduction from our perspective, there’s a law enforcement element,” Hampden County District Attorney, Anthony Gulluni said.
He told 22News, “We want to make sure guns in homes that are unwanted, unsecured, and not stored properly are taken out of homes so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.”
“The majority of youth suicide deaths are caused by guns. And access to those in the home, when the act is very impulsive,” explained Dr. Jennifer MacGregor, a Clinical Psychologist at Baystate Health.
“If the gun wasn’t in the home, there wouldn’t be the opportunity,” Dr. MacGregor noted.
Residents exchanged their guns for $50 Big Y gift cards at the Raymond Sullivan Safety Complex in Springfield Saturday.
Guns that were collected included pistols, rifles, and shotguns. No questions were asked, but state troopers made sure the guns wouldn’t discharge.
Residents who turned in firearms were glad to have a safe and convenient option to dispose of their unwanted guns.
“My husband passed away 20 years ago and it turns out I was stuck with this shotgun that was sitting in a closet,” said Bette Kanner of Amherst. “When you have a gun, you realize it’s really hard to get rid of.”
DA Gulluni said State Police will take all 109 firearms that were dropped off Saturday to a safe place and have them destroyed.