A total of 62 guns were turned into the Belmont Police during the town’s first gun buyback event held this past Saturday, May 31, according to Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said a variety of firearms were accepted including, rifles, shotguns, pistols and a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun.
Officers are investigating the possibility that two firearms were previously reported as stolen.
Belmont Police, in partnership with the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, Belmont Religious Council and individual Belmont houses of worship, held the event – which took place at the town’s DPW Yard on C Street – to allow Belmont residents a safe way to dispose of unwanted firearms and ammunition.
All firearms turned in at the gun buyback were turned over to the Massachusetts State Police to be destroyed.
Gift cards to local grocery stores were exchanged for the firearms from donations made by residents, local businesses and houses of worship including the Belmont Religious Council which raised nearly $5,000. Approximately $2,600 in left over grocery gift cards will be donated to the Belmont Food Pantry.
“This event demonstrates the accomplishments that can be achieved when members of the community and law enforcement partner together to work towards a common goal,” said McLaughlin.
“Reducing the number of unwanted firearms in the community addresses important public safety and public health issues,” said Jean Dickenson chair and founder of the Belmont Gun Buyback Committee, also thanking the Belmont Religious Council, Belmont Police Department, members of the Gun Buyback Committee, individual faith communities and local businesses and individuals who supported the program.
The Belmont houses of worship co-sponsoring the event included All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church, Beth-El Temple Center, First Baptist Church of Belmont, The First Church in Belmont, UU, Plymouth Congregational Church and St. Joseph & St. Luke Collaborative Parishes.
“With more than 31,000 fatalities and 74,000 firearms-related injuries across the country each year, giving residents a way to safely dispose of these unwanted firearms makes all our communities safer,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian.
If residents have questions regarding the gun Buyback Program or would like information on what to do with unwanted and unused firearms and ammunition please contact Belmont Police Lt. Kristin Daley at 617-993-2554 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org