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Gun Buyback Program Under Consideration In City Council

Agenda item at tonight's meeting asks administration to pursue initiative through New London Police Department

An item on tonight’s City Council agenda seeks to begin the process of setting up a gun buyback program in New London.

Proposed by Council President Michael Passero, the item “recommends that the administration pursue a gun buyback program through the police department.” If accepted without changes, the matter will be sent to the Public Safety Committee for further review.

Several gun buyback programs, in which residents turn in firearms in exchange for cash or other incentives, have taken place across the country in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown. In that incident, a shooter killed his mother with one of her firearms before traveling to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 20 children, six adults, and himself.

Deputy Chief Peter Reichard said he was been involved in gun buyback programs while with the New Haven Police Department. He said most agencies offer between $50 and $100 for a handgun or long gun.

Reichard said funding is the primary concern for such programs. He said businesses and individuals have donated toward gun buybacks, and that gift cards and pre-paid credit cards have also been used as an incentive.

One gun buyback program in Hartford has been active for four years and offers $25 gift cards for rifles or shotguns and $75 for handguns and assault weapons. The effort is a collaboration between the city of Hartford, Community Renewal Team, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Emergency Nurses Association, Hartford Hospital, Hartford Police Department, Office of the Hartford State’s Attorney, St. Francis Hospital, the Hartford Police Department, the Office of the Hartford State's Attorney. At its Dec. 1 event, the buyback collected 145 handguns and 34 rifles or shotguns.

Gun buybacks also took place in Bridgeport and New Haven after the Newtown shooting.

The council meets at 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall.

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William MacDonald January 07, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Guess we found more money in the budget...unbelievable. Taken out of context, it's a good idea, but for God's sake, can we afford this in lieu of other needs? First, we drive out dozens of good police officers to other cities or retirement, sell a great K9 for peanuts, then we worry about gun control.
NewLondonSource January 07, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Ok....and just WHERE is the funding for this going to come from??
Corina Vendetto January 07, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Am I the only one that read the paragraghs regarding "donations" and "collaborative efforts" with that laundry list of sources...?
Bud Wizer January 07, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Thank you Council President/City Firefighter Passero for this initiative. It is appropriate and commendatory that a first-responder bring this proposal forward for public consideration. It might also be useful for our mayor to press the police chief to release the number of gun permits in our city. The identities of the permittees is not public information, but the per capita rate of gun permitting in our city might be useful information to include in the public-safety committee's deliberations on a proposed buyback program. Deputy Chief Reichard's experience with a buyback initiative provides us a very useful resource for its implementation. And how fine a thing it would be to witness General Dynamics step forward with a contribution toward the buiyback program in New London, now its host city for its brainiest future thinking. At the very least, GD might thereby be able to quiet the nutty outcries of those who would castigate a gun buyback program as "unaffordable." I would also suggest that should the city's buyback program open the door to those willing to simply turn in firearms without the incentive of lining their pockets. If nothing else, a buyback program in New London would be a very large pat on the back for all our first-responders, who dash to danger and don't need the added anxieties of unncessary firearm hording in New London homes and businesses.
Christian Curcio January 07, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Corina nowhere in this article mention that donations will be given to a gun buy back program here in New London. The article states that Deputy Chief Peter Reichard has been involved with gun buy back programs before in New Haven where local business and other resources have donated gift cards. New London has not established as of yet where the funding will come from if this program gets off the ground.
William MacDonald January 07, 2013 at 02:50 PM
It would be rather disingenuous for a huge corporation (i.e. GD) that is causing the city to suffer the embarassment/expense of a lawsuit to collect a reasonable amount of property taxes to cough up a few bucks for gun buy backs. I do like the idea of asking folks to turn in weapons for free!
Jack Everett January 08, 2013 at 06:01 PM
It looks like all our worthless leaders can do is think up more ways to waste tax money. Just how many guns do the police think criminals are going to turn in?
BeckyO January 08, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Why don't people realize that criminals don't sell their guns! Bud Wizer, why do you want the police chief to release the number of permit records? These are law abiding citizens NOT criminals! I love New London and want to keep it safe, but a buy back program is a total waste of time and money, especially in our city that has had so many financial problems. Thank you William MacDonald and Jack Everett for being voices of reason.

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