Bridgeport officials announce gun buyback effort

Mayor Bill Finch and Police Chief Joseph Gaudett tomorrow will announce the details of a special gun buy-back event to be held on Saturday, in an effort to get dangerous weapons off the street and out of homes.

Police will offer up to $200 in a gift card for a working handgun. People turning in rifles will receive a $75 gift card. A weapon determined to be an assault-type rifle will be eligible for a higher rate of remuneration. More details will be released at the press conference on Friday.

“Following last week’s tragedy, it has become a national priority to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said Finch, 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 hands.”

The department has a “no questions asked” policy that will allow people to turn in weapons anonymously without fear of being prosecuted for illegal gun possession.

There is $100,000 from city funds and private donations, to pay out for the weapons. The buyback is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Bridgeport Police Department Community Services Division, 1395 Sylvan Avenue in Bridgeport.

People turning in weapons must follow a precise protocol.
1. Firearms MUST be delivered unloaded;
2. Firearms MUST be put in a clear plastic bag and put into another container (gym bag, backpack, etc);
3. If depositing ammunition in addition to a firearm, ammunition must be delivered in separate bag;
4. If transporting the firearm by car, the firearm must be transported in the trunk of the car;
5. After the firearm is screened by officers and determined to be a working firearm, a gift card will be given;
6. Non-operational guns, antiques firearms, BB guns and holsters will be accepted but do not qualify for a gift card.

Frank Juliano