First-ever statewide gun buyback event sees successful outcome

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Police departments throughout Connecticut are calling the first-ever statewide gun buyback events successful on Oct. 16.

“Really good success. We had a huge turnout,” said Hartford Sgt. Chris Mastroianni.

Hartford led the way Saturday with their highest turn in total in years, having 148 guns turned in.

“33 shotguns, 47 rifles, 67 handguns, and we got assault rifles as well,” said Sgt. Mastroianni.

The first-ever statewide keep kids safe gun buyback was sponsored by several organizations, including the Newtown Action Alliance and the Ethan Miller Song Foundation.

Ethan Song was from Guilford. He was just 15 when he lost his life in a tragic incident with a gun. He was at his friend’s house posing with a gun that was stored, along with ammunition, in a shoebox.

His parents are working tirelessly to prevent other tragedies like this from happening again. Mr. and Mrs. Song was pleased with the success in Hartford and in the other participating cities.

“We know Connecticut is a little bit safer today as a result of that,” said Mr. Song.

Here are the preliminary total number of guns turned in for gift cards:

  • Guilford- 123 guns
  • Newtown- 107 guns
  • Waterbury- 60 guns
  • In Newtown and Waterbury, 50 guns safes were given away.
  • Stamford- 39 guns. 11 gun safes were given away.
  • Bridgeport- 28 guns. 46 gun safes were given away.
  • Norwalk- 24 paid weapons were turned in. 10 additional were colected.

The gun safes that were given out were extremely important to Kristin and Mike Song.

“We understand. We know that there’s going to be a lot of gun owners out there who don’t want to turn in their guns, but we want to make sure that they are securing their guns safely because as you know, Ethan was killed with an unsecured gun,” said Mrs. Song.

Several Connecticut cities have experienced gunfire and heartbreak on the streets lately.

Police say guns now have no way of ending up in the wrong hands. Whether it be children at home or criminals who break-in in “that” capacity. They say this effort might help reduce some of the violence we’re seeing on the streets.

“It was amazing to see 90 safes in just Guildford alone go directly into gun owners’ homes,” said Mr. Song. “Those guns can’t be stolen because that’s how they often get onto the streets and the kids in those if they’re feeling suicidal or depressed. They can’t get to that gun.”

The effort was so successful that the statewide gun buyback “will” happen again next year with New Haven and Derby already signed on.

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