Hampden County gun buyback program scheduled for March - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Hampden County gun buyback program scheduled for March

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Springfield police are teaming up with the Hampden County District Attorney's Office to host a county-wide firearm buyback program next month.

"Guns are too prevalent on the street in the wrong hands," said Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney.

For the first time in four years the greater Springfield area will be taking part in a gun buyback program.

"We figure even if we get one off the street, that's one potential weapon that can be used in some type of crime or violence where somebody can get killed or injured," said Delaney.

In exchange for each gun, $50 will be given. That amount goes to $100 for a high-powered rifle or automatic weapon.

"We'll take it, no questions asked," said Delaney.

From January to October of 2012, 177 gunshot wound cases were reported in the Springfield area. State-wide in 2011, 122 of the 183 murders recorded were gun related.

"Stabbings and shootings are unfortunately a frequent occurrence at any level one trauma center in an urban setting," said Dr. Ronald Gross, the Chief of Trauma at Baystate Medical Center.

The hospital is one of the sponsors of this program and Gross is the one who made sure that Baystate was involved.

"When I heard that the police department was doing this I took my checkbook, I wrote out a check and I handed it to our injury prevention coordinator and said here," said Gross. "Start here and let's see who we can get to match us or raise us."

The hospital contributed around $2,500 to the program.

The program will be on March 2. If you have a gun you'd like to turn in, you can do so on that day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at police headquarters on Pearl Street.

Convenient Cards in Springfield, The Sheraton at Monarch Place, the Baystate Adult Trauma and Pediatric Unit and the Springfield BID (Business Improvement District) are all sponsoring the event.

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