Trumbull unveils gun, game turn-in program

First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst and Police Chief Thomas Kiely have designated Saturday, January 26 as a day when the Trumbull Police Department will collect guns, ammunition and violent video games from Trumbull residents, as part of an overall effort to set the tone for change in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that occurred last month in Newtown.

This collection will take place at Trumbull Police Headquarters from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kiely said police department personnel trained in the use of firearms will be present to ensure that proper safeguards are in place in the collection of firearms.

"Our police officers are properly trained to handle this type of collection effort and we stand with our friends in Newtown to send a message that as a law enforcement agency, we will do everything in our power on a pro-active basis to voluntarily collect firearms and ammunition from residents willing to offer it," said Kiely. "The first selectman and I are committed to approaching a solution on the local level and taking whatever steps necessary to make our town as safe as we possibly can."

Herbst said that the program was made voluntary to allow residents to make the conscious choice to take personal responsibility to set an example.

"While we initially contemplated a buyback program with adjoining municipalities, we have decided to invite the public to voluntarily turn in weapons, ammunition and violent video games," he said. "A voluntary program sends a message that as citizens of this great town, we believe that we have a moral responsibility to act in ways that demonstrate our core beliefs to take personal responsibility for our actions. I am grateful that Trumbull can set an example for the rest of Connecticut by demonstrating shared commitment and a conscience effort to turn the page by setting a positive example for our children."

Herbst said that before society can move on, its attitudes must change. In addition to any debate concerning gun control, there should also be a debate on how the entertainment industry markets violence to young and impressionable children.

"You cannot desensitize acts of despicable brutality by marketing to children horrific violence that is reflected in movies and in video games," he said. "I was repulsed to learn that for at least the last decade, an online video game called 'Kindergarten Killer' has been marketed to and accessible to children. We need to send a message on every level that as a society we will not tolerate this kind of violence."

Herbst said he would work collaboratively with School Supt. Ralph Iassogna in spreading the word to Trumbull parents that they can drop off video games at police headquarters.

For anyone turning weapons in to the Trumbull Police Department, officials ask that all weapons be unloaded and brought to the front lobby of the Police Department contained in a carrier or suitable bag. Also, leave actions (bolts, slides, cylinders, etc.) in the open position and place magazines and ammunition in a separate container.

This is a voluntary turn-in program and there will be no questions asked. Receipts will be available upon request.