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AB Cares is partnering with the Acton and Boxborough Police Departments and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to host a gun buyback initiative on Saturday, May 15th at the St. Matthew’s Methodist Church located at 435 Central Street in Acton. The event will run from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Individuals turning in unwanted firearms are asked to transport them to the site unloaded and in the trunk of their car. Ammunition will be accepted as well. No ID required, no questions asked - and each person turning in a firearm will have the option of receiving a gift card to a local grocery store. All firearms and ammunition will be handled by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and will be destroyed by the Massachusetts State Police.
“Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S., causing more than 38,000 deaths and nearly 85,000 injuries each year. During my career in public health, I’ve seen first-hand that gun violence is an epidemic, and that public health measures such as gun buyback programs are necessary steps to help address this crisis,” said Dr. Tami Gouveia, State Representative of the 14th Middlesex District.
“This event is incredibly timely; we know that mental health across the lifespan has suffered as a result of the pandemic; in fact, some now refer to the “dual pandemic” of suicide and COVID-19. AB Cares is committed to suicide prevention, and helping reduce the risk of suicide by firearms is a good place to start,” said Deborah Garfield, LICSW Director of The Eliot Center and member of the AB Cares coalition.
“We know that nearly 6 out of every 10 gun deaths in Massachusetts are a suicide, and the firearm suicide rate in Massachusetts is the highest it has been in four years . This event will provide residents the opportunity to safely, securely dispose of unwanted and unused firearms to make our homes and our communities safer by reducing the chance of accidental discharge, self-harm, and theft,” said Griet Dehandschutter, Executive Director at Acton-Boxborough United Way and member of the AB Cares coalition.
“This event will allow individuals to discard unwanted firearms in a simple, non-judgmental way. It is a tremendous public safety initiative that could prevent unwanted guns from ending up in the hands of someone that may wish to do harm to themselves or others,” said Acton Detective Mike Eracleo, member of AB Cares.
“Providing residents the opportunity to safely and securely dispose of unwanted firearms reduces the chance of accidental discharge, self-harm and theft – making both our homes and our communities safer,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “We’re proud to partner."