The Hartford Police Department, along with St. Francis Hospital, Mother's United Against Violence, the Newtown Action Alliance and the Peacebuilders hosted a community gun buy back program that Deputy Chief Brian Foley said "exceeded all expectations."
During the event, Deputy Chief Foley tweeted pictures of long lines at the Johnson Stewart Community Center on Martin Street that ran from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“Over 200 guns were returned, many handguns, assault rifles. I know there is an AK-47 in there. When you look at that many guns, you have to figure that at some point, one of those guns would’ve ended up in the wrong hands,” said Deputy Chief Foley.
“Either inside the home or outside the home on our city streets, so we’re happy to increase the odds in making our streets safer.”
Deputy Chief Foley said told Eyewitness News that $30,000 was pooled from asset forfeiture, or money seized from crime scenes, to purchase gift cards to be awarded to those selling a weapon.
In fact, Foley also said there were so many guns "sold," the Department ran out of gift cards, and issued IOUs to patrons. Guns can be turned in anonymously and in exchange the person who brings in the firearm will get a gift card to a grocery store ranging from $100-$450.
Police will then make sure the gun is not tied to any crimes in the city before destroying it. The City works in conjunction with the Newtown Alliance to melt the guns down to repurpose into gardening tools and other metal objects.
Police said their goal is to prevent guns that may be no longer wanted from ending up in the wrong hands.
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