Police will dispose of West Hartford residents' 'unwanted guns'Posted: Updated:
The West Hartford Police Department is allowing residents to bring "unwanted guns" to headquarters to have them properly disposed of.
Police said they have noticed an up tick in "unwanted guns" being brought to the police department since the Newtown school shooting.
The guns must be unloaded and in a safe condition, police said. Permits must be provided as well when guns are dropped off.
Anyone who does not have a valid Connecticut Pistol Permit is asked to not bring the guns to the police department. People can call the police and officers can pick up the weapon. Officials with the department would prefer to pick them up themselves.
"That's a much safer way for us to handle it," said Police Lt. Frank Fallon. "That way our officers who are trained in safe gun handling are at the home, they make sure it's put in a safe condition before it's transferred here to the department."
Unlike traditional gun buy back programs, West Hartford is holding a gun collection program and people do not get any money for guns turned in.
"Most of the programs where you have a buyback program, you're trying to target those types of firearms that are likely to be involved in some sort of incident out there in society," Fallon said. "What we found that we were receiving was mostly antiques, relics, guns that had been left from a great grandparent, something to that effect."
In spite of no cash for the weapons, police said they get calls from people wanting to turn in weapons every few days.
"Any time you can get rid of a gun that people don't want, it makes other people safer," said Joshus Karlin of West Hartford.
Police are also offering free gun locks to all residents, and they are available 24 hours a day.
"The West Hartford Police Department recommends that you lock it or leave it," police said in a statement Thursday.
Unwanted guns can be dropped off at the police department, located at 103 Raymond Rd. Residents can call the police ahead of time at 860-523-5203.
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