NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The second annual #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback and Gun Safe Giveaway Day will be held in several communities on Saturday.

It’s a collaborative effort between hospitals and police departments to reduce firearm-related injuries by lowering the number of unwanted and unsecured guns inside homes.

Kristin Song knows firsthand the devastating impact of an unsecured gun. Her 15-year-old son, Ethan, was killed in January 2018 at a neighbor’s home where guns weren’t properly stored.

“For me, if that gun owner had taken literally three seconds to lock up those three guns, my child would be in college today,” Song said.

“High school kids knew for about six months that these kids were playing with guns,” Song said. “They were posting it on social media. Not one child said anything to a parent, to a teacher, to an administrator, to an officer. I had six months to save my child.”

She’s turned her pain into purpose by advocating for safe storage and strengthening laws around it. Song and the Ethan Miller Song Foundation are taking part in this event, which has been coordinated by Newtown Action Alliance Foundation (NAAF).

NAAF was established after 20 children and six educators were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton on Dec. 14, 2021.

“Over 1 million Americans have been shot since the Sandy Hook tragedy,” said Po Murray, the chairman of NAAF. “Four hundred thousand of those people have been killed by guns — homicides, suicides, unintentional shootings, and other types of shootings.”

At Saturday’s gun buyback events, firearms must be unloaded and placed in a clear plastic bag inside a paper bag or box and transported in the trunk of your car. Owners can remain anonymous and will receive gift cards, while supplies last:

  • $25 for single and double-shot handguns and any type of black powder guns
  • $50 for rifles and shotguns 
  • $100 for pistol and revolver handguns
  • $200 for assault weapons

Firearms can be turned in from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the following locations:

  • Guilford Police Department, 400 Church St.
  • Middletown Police Department, 7735 Main St.
  • Newtown Police Department, 191 South Main St.
  • Stamford Police Department, 725 Bedford St.
  • Waterbury Police Department Training Center, 240 Bank St.

In addition, Hartford will accept unwanted firearms from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the following location:

  • Hartford Department of Public Works, 50 Jennings Rd.

People can also turn in non-operable guns, BB guns, and ammunition but no gift cards will be exchanged for these items.

“It’s not about taking guns away from anybody,” said Dr. Brendan Campbell of Connecticut Children’s in Hartford. “It’s about making firearm ownership as safe as possible for those individuals who want to keep guns in their homes.”

More than 530 guns, including 10 assault weapons, were collected and more than 300 gun safes were distributed at last year’s event, organizers said.