Community leaders and police collected 68 firearms Saturday as part of a gun buyback program timed to mark the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Twenty-five pistols were handed in, along with 20 revolvers, eight shotguns, eight rifles, three assault rifles, three Derringer pistols and one machine gun.
The buyback was coordinated by the Hartford Police Department, the Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and held at the Community Renewal Team’s building on Windsor Street.
“An unsecured gun in a home is a danger to everyone who lives and visits,” said David Shapiro, chief of surgical critical care at Saint Francis. “By collecting guns that people don’t want in their homes, we are ... reducing the threat of an innocent person being harmed by that weapon.”
In exchange for the guns, police on Saturday distributed Stop & Shop gift cards. The cards ranged from $25 for a shotgun to $200 for an assault rifle. People were permitted to hand in their firearms anonymously.
The program was held two days after the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 first-graders and six educators were shot and killed at the elementary school in Newtown. Memorials and other special services were held across the state on Thursday in remembrance of the victims.
Gun buybacks were held in other nearby cities Saturday as part of a regional effort, including Boston, Providence, and Worcester, Mass.