The following is a press release from Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno:
What do Bedford residents do if they have guns or other dangerous weapons they no longer want? The Bedford Police Department will come to your home to recover and arrange for their disposal. All residents simply need todo is call the non-emergency line at 781-275-1212.
“Bedford is a very safe community and the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and law abiding. This initiative of collecting unwanted guns and weapons, addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” according to Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno.
With the Newtown school massacre still fresh on many minds, the Bedford Police Department in partnership with the Bedford Board of Health, Bedford Youth and Family Services, Violence Prevention Coalition, First Parish Church and residents at large, have pledged some limited funds for a gun/dangerous weapons buy back. The Gun Buy Back Program will pay residents $50.00 for each weapon turned in, as long as funds remain. Each of these weapons will be destroyed.
“The Violence Prevention Coalition supports this program as we support any action that reduces the potential forviolence in our community,” according to Cathy Cordes, the Selectman of Bedford representative to the coalition.
Unwanted firearms are a potential hazard in any home. Unwanted firearms can be stolen, used in an accidentalshooting or a suicide. When guns are used in criminal attacks, the outcomes are often irreversible and fatal.
We recognize that the overwhelming majority of licensed gun owners safely handle and store their firearms.However, the access and availability of firearms is associated with an increased risk of suicide in the home. Onestudy concluded that a household is five times as likely to have a suicide in that home if there is a gun in the home.Overall, guns kept in the home were 22 times more likely to be used in accidental shootings, assault, and suicideattempts, than in an act of self-defense, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence.
“Because we know that the of availability of guns is a risk factor for youth suicide and adult homicide, twoimportant public health concerns, the Bedford Board of Health is in support of this program which seeks to reduceavailability of unwanted firearms,” said Heidi Porter, Director of Public Health. In fact Jane Brody reported 1/8/13 in the New York Times statistics from the New England Journal of Medicine that 7 children and young adultsbetween the ages of 1 and 24 die from gun-related injuries every day. She stated, “That makes guns the second leading cause of death in young people – twice the number of deaths from cancer, five times the deaths from heartdisease, and 15 times the deaths from infections.”
“Community support is critical to the success of this program; we thank the local churches, clergy, concerned residents, and community leaders who support this initiative,” said Chief Robert Bongiorno.
To contribute, please send a check made out to the Town of Bedford, and mail to the Bedford Police Department, 2 Mudge Way, Bedford, MA 01730. In the lower left hand column of the check, write: Gun Buy Back Program.