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Gun Buyback Events Held Across Conn. In Aftermath Of Newtown School Massacre

Rep. John Larson Hosts Forum On Preventing Violence
Gun Surrendered In New Haven Buyback Event (credit: CBS 2)

Gun Surrendered In New Haven Buyback Event (credit: CBS 2)

Tragedy In Newtown

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – In the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. school massacre, officials in New Haven announced a series of gun buyback events in an effort to get firearms off the streets.

Officials announced 64 guns were turned in to police on Saturday, including a Bushmaster rifle similar to the one used by gunman Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on Dec. 14.

Anyone who brings in a working gun gets a $50 gift card, while automatic weapons are exchanged for $100 gift cards.

The guns can be turned in, no questions asked. Another New Haven buyback event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meantime, Bridgeport, Conn. held its largest gun buyback event ever on Saturday.

Officials announced nearly $100,000 has been secured to fund the program.

“Following last week’s tragedy, it has become a national priority to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said Mayor Bill Finch, a longtime advocate of stricter gun laws and a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “Chief Gaudett and I are encouraging City residents to turn in their guns so they don’t fall into the wrong person’s hands.”

Police offered up to $200 in gift cards for a working handgun. People turning in rifles received $75, while a weapon determined to be an assault-type rifle will be eligible for a higher payout.

“Every gun that is turned in and destroyed is a gun that can’t end up on the street in the hands of a criminal or in the hands of a young person who could injure himself or someone else,” said police Chief Joe Gaudett.

In just the first hour of the Bridgeport buyback, the Stamford Advocate reported 40 guns had been turned over. At times, gun owners waited for up to a half an hour to turn in their weapons, the Advocate reported.

The full day’s haul netted 104 weapons and officials said $13,400 in gift cards was paid out to those who handed in their guns, according to the Advocate.

The no-questions-asked gun buyback program in Bridgeport is due to resume on Friday.

Also in response to the Newtown massacre, Rep. John Larson hosted a forum in West Hartford Sunday afternoon on preventing violence.

Larson said the shooting rampage highlighted the immediate need to begin a comprehensive look at violence. The Congressman said the forum will focus on the mental health system, gun regulations and national policies related to violence prevention.

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