Sunday, June 23, 2024

A “Safer Homes, Safer Communities” regional gun buyback program will take place over four Saturdays in June, and the first date is in Cambridge: from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Reservoir Church, 170 Rindge Ave., North Cambridge, and Pentecostal Tabernacle, 77 Columbia St., The Port.

Turning in an assault weapon gets a $200 gift card; turning in a revolver, handgun, semiautomatic, shotgun or rifle gets a $100 gift card; turning in a BB gun, pellet gun or ammunition gets a $50 gift card. Children who turn in any toy guns will be eligible for a $5 ice cream gift card.

Buybacks will follow in Newton, Watertown and Arlington. A similar regional initiative in 2016 resulted in 150 unwanted firearms being turned in for destruction, while buybacks over the past four years in Cambridge collected around the same number, including assault rifles and loaded handguns, Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr. said.

Departments from all communities are involved, along with local community and faith-based organizations, Belmont police and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, which began the effort in 2013. The 20 total buybacks have brought in nearly 1,000 unwanted weapons, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office said.