Finch, Gaudett Announce Latest Gun Buyback Program

Mayor Bill Finch and Chief Joe Gaudett on Tuesday announced the city’s gun buyback program will resume this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Police Department Community Services Division, 1395 Sylvan Avenue.

“We can and must do more to stem the tide of illegal guns that end up on our streets and in the hands of criminals,” said Finch in a news release. “The question is how did they end up in their hands–and what can we do to prevent more weapons from ending up in the hands of criminals?”

“Taking action against gun violence in our city is my top priority,” Finch added. “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 saved one life, it is money well spent.”

The Police Department will offer 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.

“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 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.”

The gun buyback is part of an comprehensive strategy to reduce violence in the city, according to spokesman Brett Broesder. The Police Department has started daily walking beats in public housing complexes. This year, the department also started walking beats on East Main Street.

Crime statistics secured by OIB from police sources show that some crime categories are, in fact, down such as robberies, burglaries and auto thefts, but the city has experienced an increase in murders, shooting incidents and shooting victims for this first six months of 2015 compared to the first six months of last year.

Those statistics show the number of murders up from two last year to eight this year and incidents of shootings and shooting victims up 65 percent and 96 percent respectively.

Geographically the central police quadrant of the city that includes Trumbull Gardens has experienced dramatic violent crime increase from last year. Shooting incidents up 128 percent and shooting victims up 228 percent, led by the last month’s shootings that claimed a life and wounded eight.

For the gun buyback program, people turning in weapons must follow a precise protocol, says Broesder.

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.



  1. Captain Hawley,
    Do you think ‘our leaders’ read such material and learned from it? Do you think they really care about effectiveness and efficiency in City operations, or just like to talk about the subjects, but not be held accountable for real results? Are the few comments listed under this posting an example of how dead a horse this subject is in the City? When will the Mayor and Chief post a list of all the donors of such dollars, businesses and private citizens, how they have been expended, what was done with the surplus dollars, and how they feel about these particular results? What would we learn locally? Time will tell.

  2. Gun buyback programs do take some weapons off the street, but it is too easy for criminal entrepreneurs to drive south on I-95 to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky or Tennessee, legally purchase firearms and transport them back to the northeast for resale at a profit.

    Finch is a couple of steps behind Ganim on this issue. Whereas Ganim is talking about crime and Foster is talking about actually creating long-term jobs that pay a living wage and Enrique Torres is talking about poverty, Finch and his camp are talking about buying guns and beautifying parks. No one gives a rat’s ass about pretty walkways while violent crime is up, while the unemployment rate is up because this administration twiddles its thumbs and hands out tax abatements in exchange for campaign donations. What’s next Mr. Mayor, gonna serve ice cream at McLevy Green on Thursdays?

  3. What Bpt businesses, other than Aquarion, have joined in the gun buy-back program? Apparently, not enough to warrant a mayoralty press conference.


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