Hamden "Gun Buy Back"

First Hamden Gun Buyback Event Breaks Record

149 firearms turned in, 100 car safes and 63 gun locks distributed

Hamden – Hamden’s first Gun Buyback and Firearm Safety Event took place on Saturday, February 15th at the Hamden Police Department. It was sponsored by the Hamden Police Department, Town of Hamden, Yale New Haven Hospital’s Injury and Violence Prevention Program, and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven.

There were 149 firearms turned in. That number broke the record for any gun buyback sponsored by Yale New Haven Hospital in the region. Of those 149 firearms, 3 were classified as assault weapons, 3 were derringer-style pistols, 71 were rifles/shotguns, and 72 were pistols/revolvers. Additionally, several hundred rounds of ammunition were handed in, as well as 14 BB and pellet guns. One person brought in a sword.

The event promoted gun safety and safe storage. Many gun owners came in for the free car safes and gun locks that were offered. One hundred cars safes were handed out, along with 63 gun locks. It is now against the law in Connecticut to leave an unsecured gun in an unattended motor vehicle, so the car safes were very popular.

The gun buyback was held in the spirit of public safety and prevention to make our homes and community safer. The buyback provided an opportunity for people to anonymously and safely dispose of unwanted and unsecured guns in exchange for gift cards. The goal was to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, such as those of curious children, people suffering from a suicidal episode, those suffering from dementia, perpetrators of domestic partner intimidation and violence, and also being targeted for theft and ending up in the hands of criminals. The gun buyback reduced the risk of these scenarios happening. Suicide prevention information was displayed and distributed at the event.

We are grateful for the support of the New Haven Police Department, the New Haven Bomb Squad, the Newtown Action Alliance, the Episcopal Church, and Swords into Plowshares. Swords into Plowshares were on hand demonstrating how they transform destroyed guns from buybacks into gardening tools through blacksmithing. Swords into Plowshares presented a gardening tool they forged that day to Police Chief John Cappiello. The destroyed guns from the Hamden buyback will be given to Swords into Plowshares so they can repurpose them from “life-taking to life-making” tools.

We would also like to thank all of those who generously donated to fund the event. Major donors included Quinnipiac University, Pharmaceutical Data Services, Canal Crossing LLC, K&J Tree Service, Memorial Day Classic Car Show, and the Unitarian Society of New Haven.

Gun Buy Back Flyer (PDF)
Photo of Handguns 1

Some of the handguns collected at the Hamden Gun Buyback and Safety Event.

Photo of JC AS CL PV 3

Police Chief John Cappiello, Community Development Manager Adam Sendroff, Mayor Curt Leng, and Dr. Pina Violano, Manager of Yale New Haven Hospital’s Injury and Violence Prevention Program

Photo Long Guns 2

Some of the long guns collected at the Hamden Gun Buyback and Safety Event.

Mayor Curt Leng commented, “The success of Hamden’s first Gun Buy Back was a great example of bringing together the right partners that can deliver a positive and meaningful impact on our community. I’d sincerely like to thank everyone who helped make it happen, and everyone who participated. I look forward to planning the next one.”

Dr. Pina Violano, Manager of the Yale New Haven Hospital’s Injury and Violence Prevention Program, commented, “I am thrilled at the turnout and number of guns turned in. This firearm safety event illustrates how many unwanted guns there are out in our communities and the need for safe storage practices.  This event could very well prevent a gun-related injury or death in our own backyard.”

Police Chief John Cappiello commented, “I can’t be happier with the results, not only with the number of guns turned in but with the number of safes and locks that were given out. I would like to personally thank our partners, volunteers and donors, without them this event would not have occurred.”

Adam Sendroff, Community Development Manager, commented, “Decreasing gun injuries and gun deaths starts with reducing risk and prevention. Today we took a significant step towards that goal by collecting unwanted guns and distributing car safes and gun locks. Our homes and community will be safer because of what occurred here today.”