New London Gun Buyback Program To Start In March

Mayor Daryl Finizio announces initiative to be funded by private donations

New London will conduct a gun buyback program on two weekends in March, Mayor Daryl Finizio announced this afternoon.

The collection will take place on March 2-3 as well as March 9-10 at the Truman Street police substation. Residents may turn in firearms in exchange for a prepaid credit card.

The program will give out $75 for rifles or shotguns, $100 for handguns, and $150 for assault weapons. The effort is not limited to New London residents, and people from the region may participate in the buyback program or make monetary donations toward it.

Finizio said people turning in weapons will not be prosecuted for minor offenses such as owning a firearm without a permit, but the serial numbers of guns that are turned in will be checked to see if they were involved in major crimes.

“This is not a general amnesty program,” said Finizio.

Finizio said the New London County Bar Association as well as ministers with the New London County Clergy Association have pledged to support the effort. The New London County Bar Association has set a goal of raising $25,000 for the effort.

Finizio said the rate of gun violence in New London exceeded the national rate between 2003 and 2010, with 76 percent of the murders in the city committed with firearms in those years as opposed to the national rate of 67.2 percent.

“If we can reduce the number of guns on the streets of New London, it is absolutely certain that we will save lives,” he said.

Rev. Carolyn Patierno, the minister at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation, said the buyback effort is welcome in the wake of last month’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

“In the aftermath of this tragedy, we feel the urgency to move forward on this issue,” said Patierno.

Deputy Chief Peter Reichard of the New London Police Department will coordinate the effort, and further information on the times and procedures involved in the buyback will be issued by the police department. Any guns collected in the effort will be turned over to the Connecticut State Police to be destroyed once they have been checked and catalogued.

The City Council referred the question of implementing a gun buyback program to the Public Safety Committee earlier this month. Finizio said the program will not require final approval from the council since it will be funded by donations rather than public funds, and that he informed councilors about the program and did not receive any objections.

Chris Baker, a research intern in the mayor’s office and 2012 graduate of New London High School, compiled the information on gun data. Baker is currently studying political science at University of Connecticut.

Tax deductible donations toward the gun buyback program may be made in person at City Hall or by mailing the mayor’s office at 181 State Street, New London, CT, 06320.

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Debbie January 24, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Buy back list should include BB guns that are frequently mistaken for rifles by police officers and civilians that may cause a very tense and dangerous situations.
Spencer January 25, 2013 at 01:27 AM
I do not even know where I wanna start with this one. Maybe I will be back in a bit. That of course if I manage to survive not dying laughing!!!
Spencer January 25, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Ok--I change my mind---Amongst the many...obvious questions...that can be asked with this thingie...who amongst major crime doers is going to come in with a gun and say "Hey---did u say you will give me money for this???" Only one question----Many other questions cross my mind----but I am sure---this needs to be answered first!!!
Fake Mr. Fuji January 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM
How are you supposed to walk down the street in New London after you surrender your weapons?
Jack Everett January 25, 2013 at 01:14 PM
So the responsible citizens will make a few bucks but they will be taken by the armed criminals that do not support buy back. New London is great at catching any ponzi scheme coming down the pipe.
Jack Everett January 25, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Just stay away from the Bank Street brothels.
Liz January 25, 2013 at 01:21 PM
I think if someone has a hand gun laying around and they want to surrender or need the cash to buy some groceries this is a great program. It may keep their 5 year old or teenager from grabbing that gun at a later date and taking an accidental shot. Not all gun shootings are criminals. Sometimes they happen because a kids gets a hold of a handgun. Why does everyone have to be so negative all of the time? Buy back programs in other cities have shown to work... and at least it gets people thinking about them. There also should be more programs that teach about gun safety and the need to keep guns locked up and out of kid's reach.
William Desmond January 25, 2013 at 02:15 PM
This is just a foolish " I am jumping on the anti gun train by DJF" DJF is a follower not a leader in any sense.
Luis Smart January 25, 2013 at 02:21 PM
It is most interesting that the mayor stated he drained his bank account yet the editorial in the Day indicates no payment was made because no bill was provided yet. Does this man our mayor ever tell the truth?
Thomas Cornick January 25, 2013 at 06:56 PM
OK so I guess the opening bid on two Manlicher Carcano carbines is $75 each, I will go with the highest bidder and research a lawful transfer. While both are 6.5 mm one seems of higher quality perhaps manufactured before war disrupted Italy. Sat in my closet 35 years might as well collect dust in yours. Otherwise I'll turn them in. If you can't find my email address from my name here alone, get off the web.
Sue P. January 25, 2013 at 08:09 PM
NOOOOOO, Wait for Antique Roadshow. You'll sell them for $75 and then see them on the show going for $5000. There are some things that are better left in the closet.
Spencer January 25, 2013 at 11:06 PM
I don't think u will wanna do that, Jim. Govermental authorities just hate it when y cut in on thier business!!!
Thomas Cornick January 28, 2013 at 05:09 PM
When your head sees sunlight again what is your bid on the M Carcanos


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