With heightened awareness being placed on gun control in both the state and the nation, the Greenwich Police Department has stepped up communication regarding its firearms turn-in program, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
According to Public Information Officer Lt. Kraig Gray, the program has always been offered and guns are accepted and destroyed by the police on a regular basis. However, at a time when many police departments are re-evaluating security and gun ownership, GPD has increased awareness about the turn-in event to keep the issue relevant to Greenwich, Lt. Gray said.
The goal of the program is not law enforcement but rather to remove unwanted guns from the community. Nevertheless, Lt. Gray said, the event will not be treated as amnesty, and if there is a crime associated with any weapon dropped off, it will be investigated. That being said, he added, most residents drop off guns that are not associated with street crime. More often the guns have been inherited, were left behind by ex-husbands or were purchased to pursue a hobby but then go unused.
“Guns are deadly serious business,” Lt. Gray said. Accordingly, GPD serves as a place for residents to drop off unwanted firearms where they can be assured the weapons are falling into the right hands and being handled properly, he said. As times change, people’s decisions change, Lt. Gray said in reference to recent tragedies such as last month’s Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. The firearms turn-in program is the perfect time for those who no longer want firearms in their home to get rid of them in the safest way possible, he said. In fact, for any resident who wants to turn in a gun but is unsure of how to safely handle it, an officer will go to that person’s home to remove it properly.
In addition to dropping off firearms, residents may also attend the program to get locks for their guns or to speak to gun experts who will be assisting at the event.
The following will be accepted at the GPD firearms turn-in: all rifles and shotguns, all handguns, all assault weapons, non-operational weapons, ammunition, carrying cases and holsters, BB and pellet guns, and any other dangerous weapons, such as swords or knives.
All guns brought to the police station must be unloaded. The firearms should be transported unloaded in the trunk of a vehicle, or if not in a vehicle, carried unloaded in a box or bag. Ammunition should be in a container separate from any firearm.
There will be no compensation available. For more information, contact Detective Anthony Fiscella at 203-622-8021.