Gun buy back program sees success in Worcester

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December 2, 2011, 6:51 pm

(NECN: Siobhan Connolly) - Semi-automatic weapons, shotguns and handguns are being collected as a part of Worcester's 10th annual "Goods for Guns" program, in hopes of getting more unwanted firearms off the streets.

"It's a mission to get as many guns out of the community and into a place where they can be destroyed and taken out of commission," said Worcester Police Chief Edward McGinn.

Residents can anonymously drop off any unwanted firearms in exchange for a Wegman's Gift Certificate.

"This is all part of coming together as a neighborhood, as a city, doing good things to help be part of the solution," said Joseph Early, Worcester County D.A. "This is enormous, this is huge."

The program has collected more than 2,000 guns in Worcester, and has become a model for other communities to participate.

"Pittsburgh, Chicago, Rochester and four sites in Phoenix are all going to be doing gun buy backs in the next several months," said UMass Memorial Medical Center Dr. Michael Hirsh.

Organizers say the buy back program won't eliminate all crime, but police say by controlling these firearms, the number of gun-related incidents will decrease.

"We have press conferences all the time discussing people who are tragically killed with firearms," said McGinn. "Whether it be accidentally, by means of suicide or domestic violence, or some other crime. If the gun wasn't out there, we wouldn't be having that discussion."

Tags: Worcester, Worcester News Tonight, Siobhan Connolly, Goods for Gun, gun buyback program, Worcester Police Department
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