SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In a collective effort to enhance public safety and mitigate the risks associated with unsecured firearms, the Springfield Police Department has teamed up with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department to launch a gun buy-back initiative.

Scheduled to take place Saturday, October 21st, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the program encourages residents to voluntarily surrender firearms at the Raymond M. Sullivan Safety Complex situated at 1212 Carew Street. In return for each firearm relinquished, no questions asked, participants will receive a Big Y gift card.

The primary objective of this program is to minimize the prevalence of unsecured or improperly stored firearms that pose a considerable risk of theft, accidents, suicides, and crimes. Firearms susceptible to these issues are often those turned in during such events, making these buyback programs a vital step towards enhancing community safety.

Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood emphasized the critical role of such initiatives, particularly in light of the escalating gun violence both locally and across the nation. She stated, “Any gun that’s not properly taken care of that we can take off the street is a win for us and our community.”

Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi echoed this sentiment, underlining the broader goal of promoting responsible gun ownership and fostering a culture of safety. Sheriff Cocchi stated, “It’s not just about reducing the number of firearms on the streets; it’s about creating a culture of responsible gun ownership and providing an opportunity for individuals to make a choice for a safer home and neighborhood.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno expressed his appreciation for this proactive effort, recognizing its potential to significantly impact community safety. He underscored the importance of removing firearms from circulation to prevent misuse and reduce the likelihood of accidents. The Mayor acknowledged the success of previous gun buyback programs and reiterated the importance of responsible gun ownership.

This collaboration follows a successful gun buy-back program hosted by the Springfield Police Department in 2021, which saw over 40 firearms being turned in. The Springfield Police Department’s Property Unit will oversee the processing of the surrendered firearms, subsequently transferring them to Gunbusters of New England for destruction.

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