PAWTUCKET – To help get unwanted guns off city streets, a Pawtucket Police Gun Buyback program will be held on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the police substation at 270 Armistice Blvd. (across from Precision Harley-Davidson). The program is open to all city residents.
City Councilors Albert Vitali Jr. and Jean Philippe Barros led the push for the idea with the full support of their fellow city councilors as well as Mayor Donald R. Grebien and Police Chief Paul King. The two councilors also went to the local business community for donations that will be used to provide gift cards to give to those who turn in operable firearms.
“Gun buyback programs are a proven and effective way to make the community safer by properly disposing of these unwanted firearms,” Grebien said. “I hope every city resident who has a firearm to dispose of will take advantage of this program.”
Police Chief Paul King also noted that in some instances, a gun has been left to a family member who doesn't really want the firearm but doesn't know how to get rid of it or what to do with it. This event provides an incentive for people to turn in their unwanted firearms instead of keeping them in an attic or stored somewhere in their house. “It gets some guns off the street,” the chief said.
Individuals surrendering a firearm must show proof they are a Pawtucket resident, such as a driver’s license or tax or utility bill. While gift cards will only be awarded for operable firearms, the Police Department will also accept unwanted “BB” or pellet guns, as well as unwanted ammunition during the event.
Gift cards for operable weapons will be given in the following amounts and categories: $50, rifle or shotgun; $100, pistol/revolver; $200, assault rifle, semi-automatic, detachable magazine, military style, shoulder-fired long gun, as determined by Pawtucket Police. Firearms considered to be “junk” or inoperable will be accepted for disposal although they are ineligible for gift cards.
The following gun buyback procedures should be observed: Weapons should be transported UNLOADED in the trunk of a vehicle; firearms carried by hand must be placed in a bag or box; ammunition should be transported in a container separate from any firearm.
Participating city businesses supporting the gun buyback event include: Bristol County Savings Bank; Courtesy Auto Group; DIP Inc.; Fairlawn Lofts; Fastcash Pawn & Checkcashers; Friends of Albert Vitali, Jr.; Helping Hands Associates; Med Tech Ambulance Service; Navigant Credit Union; Pawtucket Credit Union; the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Club; Precision Harley-Davidson; and Red Blue Digital Imaging.
The buyback program is open to city residents only. Businesses are not eligible. For more information, call the Pawtucket Police Department at (401) 727-9100.