NORTHBOROUGH – The Northborough Police Department is participating in the 22nd Guns 2 Gardens gun buyback program.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. is urging people to participate in the program, which is sponsored by his office, UMass Memorial Medical Center, the city of Worcester, the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Department of Health.
“Our goal is, and has always been, getting unwanted and unsecured guns out of the house,” said Early. “We want to reduce the tragic loss of life that can occur because of these unwanted guns. This buyback program helps to avoid such devastating casualties and the high public cost that comes from treating gunshot victims. Reducing accidents and tragedies the Worcester County benefits us all.”
According to a press release from Early’s office, over 4,000 guns have been turned in since the program began in Worcester in 2002. As part of the program, people who live in Worcester County can turn in their unwanted firearms to City Welding and Fabrication at 10 Ararat St., Worcester, or participating police departments in Northborough, Charlton, Fitchburg, Milford and Worcester.
Medical Director of Worcester’s Division of Public Health Michael Hirsh has spearheaded a program to turn the destroyed weapons from the buyback program into garden tools to be used in UMass’ community garden.
People who turn in their firearm will receive gift cards in the amount of $50 for a rifle, $100 for a pistol and $150 for an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. Replica guns will also be accepted, and free trigger locks are also available.
Early will relax the enforcement of the law that prohibits the carrying of firearms for people who are participating in the buyback program. Participants should bring their unloaded weapons wrapped or in a bag.
Ammunition will also be accepted, but should be separately bagged.
On Dec. 9, people can turn in their firearms to the Northborough department between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Firearms can be turned into Milford between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Charlton and Fitchburg from 9 a.m. to noon; and Worcester and City Welding and Fabrication from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information on the program, visit https://www.ummhealth.org/umass-memorial-medical-center/services-treatments/injury-prevention-center/guns-2-gardens.