The Arlington, Cambridge, Newton and Watertown Police Departments, in conjunction with the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, Belmont Police Department and local community and faith-based organizations will partner to host the “Safer Homes, Safer Communities” regional gun buyback initiative over four Saturdays next month (June 8-29), officials announced today.
In 2016, a similar regional initiative – in which Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge and Watertown also participated – resulted in 150 unwanted firearms being turned in for destruction.
“We are glad to once again be assisting our law enforcement and community partners in this effort,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Providing residents the opportunity to safely, securely dispose of unwanted firearms makes our homes and our communities safer, by reducing the chance of accidental discharge, self-harm and theft.”
“This will give Newton Residents an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted guns. There are many guns around our city in basements and attics that may have been left by deceased family members or others to people who do not want them around,” said Newton Police Chief David MacDonald. “The gun buyback will give these people an opportunity to make their homes and our community safer.”
“We are grateful for the relationships we have developed with our stake holders and neighboring agencies that have assisted us in making our homes safer,” said Acting Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty. “The success of previous gun buyback events, which have allowed numerous residents to safely dispose of unwanted firearms, demonstrates the need for these programs in the community.”
“In the past four years, we have collected nearly 150 guns, including assault rifles and loaded handguns, in Cambridge alone,” said Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr. “We remain committed to working with our local and regional community partners annually to host and support events that will ensure safer homes by giving residents an opportunity to dispose of their unused or unwanted guns.”
“The Watertown Police Department is happy to support the gun buyback program,” said Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn. “Working with our regional partners in providing safe ways to dispose of unwanted firearms certainly makes our communities and homes safer places to live. Thank you to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, our faith based partners, and financial donors for all your contributions to this significant initiative.”
While Belmont PD has in the past hosted a gun buyback site, it will this year be joining the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office in assisting Watertown PD.
“We are proud to be working with our neighbors at Watertown PD and partners at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to support the gun buyback initiative and help the community safely dispose of unwanted firearms,” said Chief Richard McLaughlin.
Officials believe the regional approach will provide residents with additional opportunities to remove these unwanted firearms from their homes. Residents can turn in unwanted firearms at any of the sites and will have the option of receiving a gift card to a local business.
The buybacks will be held:
June 8 in Cambridge from 9 a.m. – 12 Noon at the Reservoir Church (170 Rindge Ave.) and Pentecostal Tabernacle (77 Columbia St.)
June 15 in Newton from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at The Second Church (61 Chestnut St.)
June 22 in Watertown from 9 a.m. – 12 Noon at the First Parish Church (35 Church St.)
June 29 in Arlington from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Department of Public Works (51 Grove St.)
Since 2013, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has assisted 11 municipal departments, with 20 total buybacks, resulting in nearly 1,000 unwanted weapons turned in.
Middlesex Sheriff – Kevin Maccioli, 781-960-2805
Arlington Police – John Guilfoil, 781-752-9877
Cambridge Police – Jeremy Warnick, 617-349-3237
Newton Police – Lt. Bruce Apotheker, 617-796-2103
Watertown Police – Lt. James O’Connor, 617-972-6539
Belmont Police – Asst. Chief James MacIsaac, 617-993-2574