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New Haven Breaks A Record In Gun Buyback Event

Gun Buyback at CRT's office in Hartford
Community Renewal Team
Gun Buyback at CRT's office in Hartford

Two gun buyback events were held over the weekend - one in Hartford and one in New Haven where police collected a record number of guns.

New Haven police say 138 working guns were turned in, breaking their previous record of 103. Residents were able to turn in guns, no questions asked, and receive a gift card.

In Hartford, police collected 68 firearms, more than last year, but not a record for them. However, there are several buyback events held in Hartford throughout the year.

This year, New Haven tried something new. They partnered with a company called Raw Tools, a gun safety program that repurposes weapons into hand tools.

New Haven Police spokesman Officer David Hartman said inmates at Connecticut prisons will be trained to forge gardening tools out of the guns that have been turned in. From there, the tools will go to community gardens and two agricultural high schools.

"They’re going to plant crops with those gardening tools and those crops then get donated, in part at least, to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and to those in need," Hartman said. "You’re going from a working implement of death and destruction to a carrot."

Those who turn in weapons are promised anonymity. But Hartman said two people told police they came from Hartford to turn their guns into New Haven because of the new tool program.

Copyright 2017 Connecticut Public Radio

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.
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