From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:
Today, Mayor Bill Finch and Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr. announced that the state’s largest city will hold a Gun Buyback on Saturday, August 22, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This latest installment of Bridgeport’s Gun Buyback program will take place at the Bridgeport Police Department’s Community Services Division at 1395 Sylvan Ave., Bridgeport, Conn.
“Taking action against gun violence–and the use or trafficking of illegal guns–has always been, and remains, a top priority for me and my administration,” said Mayor Finch.
“Our Gun Buyback program has proven to be successful, taking in more than 1,000 guns since we initiated the program several years ago. Guns that are purchased as part of this program can never be used to hurt or kill ever again. I strongly believe that this effort has saved lives and has made Bridgeport a safer place for kids and families. Even if this program saves one life, it is money well spent.”
As part of the program, Bridgeport offers up to $200 for a working handgun. People turning in rifles will receive up to $100. A weapon determined to be an assault rifle will be eligible for up to $400.
For the Gun Buyback program, people turning in weapons must follow a precise protocol, including:
Ø Firearms MUST be delivered unloaded;
Ø Firearms MUST be put in a clear plastic bag and put into another container (gym bag, backpack, etc);
Ø If depositing ammunition in addition to a firearm, ammunition must be delivered in separate bag;
Ø If transporting the firearm by car, the firearm must be transported in the trunk of the car;
Ø After the firearm is screened by officers and determined to be a working firearm, cash will be given.
Bridgeport’s Gun Buyback program began in 2012 and has resulted in taking more than 1,000 guns off the street.
The latest installment of Bridgeport’s Gun Buyback program took place on July 18, and resulted in taking 100 additional guns off the street, including 5 assault weapons.
“Every gun that is turned in is a gun that won’t end up on the street in the hands of a criminal or in the hands of a child who could accidentally injure himself or someone else,” said Police Chief Gaudett.
“The police department works hard every day to keep our kids and families safe. This is another tool that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
Ø Click here for video of the July installment of Bridgeport’s Gun Buyback event: bit.ly/1GswdkT.
The Gun Buyback is part of an comprehensive strategy to reduce violence and crack down on illegal gun use and trafficking in the city.
The police department has added additional walking beats in targeted areas across the city. And, the police department plans to add 100 officers in the next 18-24 months.
Mayor Finch and the police department have partnered with state and federal law enforcement in Project Longevity, which helps people who commit violence off of our streets while offering support to folks who want to turn their lives around.
And, every day, the police department crime analysis unit and area commanders look for emerging crime trends and shift resources as needed.