The Hampden District Attorney’s Office and Baystate Medical Center conducted a gun buyback in recognition of National Gun Buyback Day on Saturday, December 14, 2019. The effort was in coordination with the John C. Wood II Memorial Foundation.
In total 115 firearms: 25 pistols, 39 shot guns, and 51 rifles, were turned in.
Partnerin the effort was the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s along with the Hampden District Attorney’s Office and Baystate Health. The Springfield Fire Department graciously hosted the event at the Raymond Sullivan Safety Complex on Carew Street in Springfield.
As stated on the foundation’s website, the John C. Wood II Memorial Foundation is led by community-based physicians whose careers are dedicated to improving the lives of their patients through defining and responding to health risks. Gun violence is the major cause of more than 20,000 suicides, 12,000 homicides and 75,000 non-fatal injuries each year. Gun violence poses a serious and significant risk to health.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni stated, “Our partnership with Baystate Health in reducing the risks of suicide, violence, series injury, and death posed by un-wanted guns in our community is an effort we can all rally around. If any member of the public is in possession of an un-wanted firearm/s or ammunition, please take this opportunity to safely dispose of them.”
Psychiatrist Dr. Barry Sarvet, chair of Behavioral Health at Baystate, noted that firearms account for more than half of suicide deaths in this country and make up nearly two-thirds of all gun deaths.
“It is a known fact that people who die from suicide are more likely to live in a home where guns are found. There is evidence that gun control can reduce suicide rates. A nationwide gun buyback program in Australia, for example, resulted in taking a fifth of guns off the streets there, and resulted in a 74 percent decline in firearm suicides,” he said.
Once again offered to people wishing to participate were one $50 Big Y gift card for a handgun, rifle, or shotgun and two $50 Big Y gift cards for an assault weapon.
This event is a partnership between the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, Baystate Health, the Springfield Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police, and Baystate Health’s Family Advocacy Center.