New London — The city has received more than $11,000 in private donations for a regional gun buy-back program that begins Saturday.
Last month, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio announced a joint venture between the city, several religious organizations and the New London County Bar Association.
The heads of five churches in New London, Old Lyme, Noank and Niantic as well as Congregation Beth El are participating. The bar association also pledged to raise $25,000.
City police will buy back guns from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Truman Street Police Substation, 40 Truman St. No city funds will be used to purchase the guns, Finizio said.
Guns can be exchanged for debit-style gift cards worth $75 for turning in shotguns or rifles; $100 for handguns; and $150 for assault-style rifles.
The program will continue March 9 and March 10.
It is not an amnesty program, according to the city. Police will check serial numbers on the guns to be sure they were not linked to a crime.
The New London Police Department is requesting that residents bring guns in a clear plastic bag or leave the firearms in the trunk of a car for an officer to retrieve.
Guns should not be loaded.
New London police also will go to private homes to collect guns within the city if residents have concerns about handling the firearm.
The partnership was announced a month after the Newtown school shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead. The shooter, Adam Lanza, 20, also killed his mother and himself in the Dec. 14 shooting.
For further information, contact the Truman Street Substation at (860) 447-5265 or the non-emergency police line at (860) 447–5269.