Police collect 16 guns during turn-in program

A voluntary turn-in program netted 16 guns and about 500 rounds of assorted ammunition, according to police officials.

The day-long program was held at police headquarters and also included an option to hand over violent video games, though no residents turned in games. Police Chief Tom Kiely had said the purpose of the event was to reduce the pipeline of illegal guns that flow onto the streets.

“What we see a lot are situations where someone who owned a few guns dies and their wife or children now have them,” Kiely said. “They don’t really want them, but they don’t know how to get rid of them so they end up sitting in the closet for years and then if someone breaks into the house, those guns end up on the street.”

Most of the guns turned over Saturday appeared to be hand-me-downs. Of the eight handguns and eight rifles and shotguns, Deputy Chief Michael Harry said only about four were in working condition.

Two of the guns turned in were military issue: A WWII-vintage Mauser rifle and  .38 Smith & Wesson revolver.  The rest included bolt action hunting rifles, two bolt action shotguns, a double-barrel shotgun, a semi-auto .22 rifle and pistol and what appeared to be a bolt action .22 rifle that had been converted to a single-shot pistol.

The police also collected about 500 rounds of ammunition during the turn-in, including .22 rimfire ammunition and about eight boxes of shotgun shells.