SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police Department is taking a proactive approach to deter gun violence by holding a gun buyback program at the Sullivan Safety Complex.
“Many are concerned with guns,” said City Councilor Melvin Edwards. “Anybody who buries their child knows the damage that can happen when guns are used irresponsibly.”
Springfield has had a bad history of gun violence but Mayor Sarno says the city’s new gun unit has helped reverse that trend.
“Since the gun unit has come into play, it has gone down double-digits in felony gun assaults,” Mayor Sarno told 22News.
For police, most of the firearms they’ve seized are stolen. They’ve also noticed what can happen when they fall into the wrong hands.
“Any of them can be adopted or altered to be something that’s highly concealable, I mean they are all dangerous,” Lt. Brian Beliveau of the Springfield Police Department Firearms Investigation Unit explained.
“Many of these guns can still shoot. They get in the wrong hands, something bad can happen,” Mayor Sarno warned.
In just the first hour of Saturday’s event, more than three dozen firearms were collected. As residents dropped them off, no questions were asked, and those who participated were rewarded for their effort. A $50 Big Y gift card was also given out as a reward for each gun.
All of the guns turned over during Saturday’s buyback will be destroyed by the Gunbusters of New England.