HARTFORD —— City officials and police are looking to take more guns off the street by offering to buy them back in exchange for gift cards.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, any Connecticut resident can drop off unwanted firearms at the Community Renewal Team's office, 555 Windsor St., in exchange for gift cards -- $25 cards for rifles or shotguns, and $75 cards for handguns or assault weapons. Guns must be unloaded and wrapped in a bag, according to organizers.
Non-working guns, flare guns, black-powder weapons, pellet or BB guns and ammunition may be turned in, but will not be eligible for gift cards, officials said.
The buy-back program is in its fourth year and has collected 285 firearms over the last three years, according to information from Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Last year, about 120 guns were collected.
The program is a collaboration between Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Community Renewal Team, the Hartford Police Department and the Hartford State's Attorney's Office.
"A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to kill a family member or friend than to kill an intruder," officials said in a written statement. "With gun ownership comes the responsibility of storing guns locked, unloaded and inaccessible to kids."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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