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Mother of murdered son speaks out in Hartford, Waterbury to begin gun buyback program

Hartford

On this National Gun Violence Awareness Day, a grieving mother spoke out in Hartford about the loss of her son.

“People everyday are being shot and maimed. we have put a stop to this,” said Henrietta Beckman, whose son Randy was shot and killed in Hartford in 2002. “Guns have no place in our society if they’re going to be used against us.”

Related: Gun manufacturer Stag Arms leaving New Britain

Henrietta spoke out in Hartford at a National Gun Violence Awareness Day event also attended by both of Connecticut‘s senators. They both once again called on Congress to pass tougher gun control legislation and background checks.

“There’s nowhere you can escape this epidemic,” Senator Murphy said. “Background checks are supported by 97 percent of Americans. There’s nothing else in this country that’s supported by 97% of Americans.”​​​​​​​

Henrietta spoke out to urge local communities to take action to reduce gun violence. She’s grateful Hartford Police are holding another Gun Buyback program on Saturday, June 15. It’s from 9am to 3pm at the Johnson & Stewart Community Center. The address is 127 Martin Street in Hartford. For anyone who turns in their working guns — unloaded and in a plastic bag or box — that person will get a $25 Stop & Shop gift card for a shotgun/rifle, a $100 gift card for a handgun/revolver, or a $200 gift card for an assault rifle.

A week later, the Waterbury Police Department will hold that city’s first-ever Gun Buyback Program.

That takes place on Saturday, June 22 from 10am-2pm at the Waterbury Police Training Center on 240 Bank Street. The incentives for turning in those unwanted weapons at home is the same as the prizes being offered in Hartford.

Related: Gov. Lamont to sign gun safety bills to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day

“Unwanted guns in our home can fall into the hands of children who could accidentally hurt themselves or their friends or they can be stolen,” said Lieutenant David Silverio of the Waterbury Police Department. 

Whoever turns in guns will remain anonymous. Guns being turned in should be unloaded and placed in a clear plastic bag inside a paper bag or box. Non-working guns, black-powder weapons, flare guns, pellet/BB guns and ammunition/magazine clips may be turned in; however they will not be eligible for a gift card. The Waterbury buyback is open to all Connecticut residents. The Hartford one is only for Hartford residents only.

Both of Waterbury’s hospitals have helped to contribute to the $10,000 donated by area businesses to pay for the Waterbury gift cards.  Free parking is available in the municipal ramp garage, which is attached to the buyback location on Bank Street.

For more information about the Waterbury Gun Buyback on June 22, call 203-574-6962.

For more information about the Hartford Gun Buyback on June 15, call 860-714-5525.

Related: CT lawmakers, officials hold press conference for Gun Violence Prevention Month

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