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7/14/2015 - TODAY: Mayor Finch, Police Chief Gaudett Announce Gun Buyback Start Date

“Taking action against gun violence in our city is one of my top priorities. 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.” – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch

Ø  WHO: Mayor Bill Finch, Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr.

Ø  WHAT: Announcement Regarding Bridgeport’s Gun Buyback Program.

Ø  WHENTuesday, July 14, at 11:00 a.m.

Ø  WHERE: Bridgeport’s Margaret Morton Government Center (999 Broad St., Bridgeport, Connecticut – Mayor’s back conference room).

Bridgeport, Connecticut (July 14, 2015) – Today, Mayor Bill Finch and Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. will announce the start date of the city’s Gun Buyback initiative as the city continues to crack down on illegal guns and make our streets safer.

“Taking action against gun violence in our city is one of my top priorities,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “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 only one life, it is money well spent.”

As part of the program, the Bridgeport 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 one gun that won’t end up  the street in the hands of a criminal or in the hands of a child who could accidentally injure himself or someone else,” said Chief Gaudett. “The police department works hard every day to keep our community safe. This is another tool that helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

In the Gun Buyback program, 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. BB guns and non-working guns will be accepted but won’t be eligible for cash payment. Gun dealers are not eligible to participate.

During the most recent gun buyback program, which began in 2012, one of the first weapons turned in was an AR-15 assault rifle, the same type of weapon used to kill elementary schools kids and teachers in Newtown. Police also received a Street Sweeper, a 12-round, revolver style shotgun.

“These are not hunting rifles. These are weapons of war. They are specifically designed to kill and maim other human beings and they have no place on our streets and in the hands of criminals,” said Gaudett. 

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention, one person is killed in the U.S. by a firearm every 17 minutes, 87 people are killed during an average day, and 609 are killed every week. Also, between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns –more than the population of St. Louis, Mo. (318,069), Pittsburgh (307,484), Cincinnati, Ohio (296,223), Newark, N.J. (277,540), and Orlando, Fla. (243,195).

For the Gun Buyback program, people turning in weapons must follow a precise protocol, including:

ü  Firearms MUST be delivered unloaded;

ü  Firearms MUST be put in a clear plastic bag and put into another container (gym bag, backpack, etc);

ü  If depositing ammunition in addition to a firearm, ammunition must be delivered in  separate bag;

ü  If transporting the firearm by car, the firearm must be transported in the trunk of the car;

ü  After the firearm is screened by officers and determined to be a working firearm, cash or a gift card will be given.