Gun Buyback Program

From the Falmouth Enterprise:

Residents wanting to dispose of unwanted firearms in their homes will have the opportunity at a Falmouth Gun Buyback Coalition event, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, from 9 AM to noon at Falmouth Police Station.
The coalition has organized the buyback to make the community safer by removing guns that are no longer wanted from homes.
“We’re not taking a political stand; it’s simply to promote safety,” coalition member Richard Duby said.

The event also is intended to raise awareness about gun violence, which the group, formed before the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, views as a public health concern.
Coalition member Ann N. Stone, an occupational therapist, citing a study by Harvard School of Public Health, said that the incident of suicide in a home with guns is four to five times more likely and homicide is two to three times more likely.
People may find themselves accidental gun owners, having inherited them from a deceased family member, and may not want the responsibility at this time. Others in the same circumstance may be spurred to receive gun training. Any conversation around gun safety is positive, coalition members say.
“We’re interested in gun violence prevention,” coalition member Nan G. Logan said. “As people come back into town, they will be rummaging in their closets and find guns they don’t want anymore.”
The event has endorsements from various groups and representatives in the community, including the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, State Representative David T. Vieira (R-Falmouth), State Representative Dylan A. Fernandes (D-Falmouth) and State Senator Viriato M. (Vinny) deMacedo (R-Plymouth).
The coalition is raising funds for gift certificates to Shaw’s grocery store to be given in exchange for turned-in guns. Semi-automatic weapons, including pistols, rifles and shotguns, will bring a $75 gift certificate and all others will earn a $50 certificate.
The event also will collect BB guns, pellet guns and ammunition, but will not offer gift certificates for those items.
The fundraising goal is $13,000 to $15,000 to use for the exchange of approximately 200 to 250 guns, and the coalition is halfway there. The group came up with the fundraising numbers after talking with the organizers of a gun buyback held at John Wesley United Methodist Church after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012. About 200 guns were collected at that buyback.
Any leftover gift cards will be given to the Falmouth Service Center. On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, from 10 AM to 1 PM a tool sale will be held at the Quaker Meeting House in West Falmouth to raise funds for the buyback.

People can make donations on the coalition’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FalmouthGun BuybackDay/ or checks can be made out to the Waquoit Congregational Church with “Gun Buyback” written on the memo.
“Guns in themselves are not bad,” the Reverend Nell Fields said. “They can be used in violent ways. If you have a gun in the home that you are not using, there is no reason for it to be there.”
People are being asked to bring guns unloaded in a carrier with the safety mechanism on. If they do not know how to disarm the gun, they can leave it in the car and a police officer will offer assistance. On the day of the buyback, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’ Keefe will grant a one-day amnesty for those who do not have gun licenses and any exchanges will be anonymous. Identification is not required.
After the buyback, Mr. Duby said, the guns will be transported to an undisclosed location in Massachusetts and be destroyed rather than recycled. The firing mechanism and barrel will be dismantled.
Mr. Duby represents gun owners on the committee. He was a bird hunter for many years as well as a competitive pistol shooter.
“As a responsible gun owner, it behooves me to make sure people who are not familiar with guns dispose of them safely,” Mr. Duby said. “It’s not about being anti- or pro-gun. It’s just about dealing with the safety of Falmouth residents.”