Hartford Hospital Teams Up With City Partners to Swap Gift Cards for Guns

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While many people think having a gun at home will keep them safe, experts and policymakers increasingly agree that firearms in the home are dangerous.

“If you have a gun in your home, it is much more likely to be used to kill you or another loved one than it is to be used on someone who poses a danger to you,” said Senator Chris Murphy at a press conference announcing a gun buyback program taking place in Hartford Saturday. “Communities that have more guns have higher rates of gun violence and gun crime.”

The gun buyback event is designed to combat these preventable injuries and deaths by asking the public to remove unsecured and unwanted guns from their homes. Connecticut residents can turn in a working firearm anonymously and receive a $25, $100 or $250 gift card.

Residents can bring their working, unloaded firearms to the Community Renewal Team Building at 555 Windsor Street in Hartford anytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Dec. 16. Guns should be unloaded and placed in a clear plastic bag inside a paper bag or box. Non-working guns, black-powder weapons, flare guns, pellet/BB guns, and ammunition/magazine clips can also be turned in anonymously, but they will not be eligible for a gift card.

Intentional and accidental firearm injuries bring many patients to the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department each year.

“We save lives and treat patients, but also console loved ones in times of grief and loss,” said Dr. Daniel Freess, an emergency physician at Hartford Hospital and president of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians. “Too often that loss involves guns that ended up in the wrong hands.”

The gun buyback event is coordinated by Hartford Hospital in partnership with its neighbors, including Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the Hartford Police Department and the Community Renewal Team.

In addition to Senator Murphy, Freess was joined at the press conference by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley, colleagues from other city hospitals, community organizers and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

“This actually does have the potential to save lives,” Bronin said. “Guns make their way onto our streets because they are stolen from places where they are kept unsecured, and they are used accidentally and tragically.”

For more information, call 860.249.1072.

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