Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn urges residents to bring their unwanted guns in exchange for a gift card at the first such event ever held in Watertown.
Gun buybacks are more common in inner city areas suffering from gun violence, but the emphasis of this event is to make homes in Watertown safer, Lawn said.
“When I first heard about it, I thought of ones with Boston with gangs,” Lawn said. “When they started talking about safer homes, it started to make sense.”
Belmont held a gun buyback last year, which brought in more than 60 weapons.
“That made me thing we’d have success,” Lawn said.
Residents may have guns they no longer want, may discover their parents firearms after they pass away, or even find guns in unexpected places, such as in an attic or even a ceiling.
The Gift Cards for Guns event will be held on Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at First Parish Church, 35 Church St., in Watertown. No IDs are required. In exchange for the guns, people will receive a gift card from Stop & Shop.
The fire arms should be brought in unloaded with the safety engaged in a bag, box or case. Unwanted ammunition can also be turned in.
The event is sponsored by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police and several local groups – First Parish Church, Watertown Community Foundation, Watertown Police Department, Watertown Police Foundation and World in Watertown.
Watertown was approached by the Cambridge Police, who wanted to make the gun buyback event a regional one. The first buybacks in the series occurred on June 11, and according to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Twitter feed 62 guns were collected at events in Belmont, Cambridge and Arlington.
Those who cannot make it to the event in Watertown can go to a gun buyback on June 25 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Somerville Department of Public Works, 1 Franey Road, Somerville.