HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – For the ninth straight year, officials in Hartford are sponsoring a pre-Christmas gun buyback program.

This Saturday, Dec. 16, unwanted firearms can be turned in for grocery store gift cards, ranging from $25 to $200 depending on the type of gun. The collection runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Community Renewal Team at 555 Windsor Street in Hartford.

Guns should be brought to the event unloaded in a clear plastic bag, inside a paper bag or box.

Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley says for police, getting guns off the streets is not a political issue. “What it becomes is us getting sick and tired of putting up yellow tape, standing over a senseless shooting and guns ending up on the streets of Hartford,” said Foley. “I can promise you one thing: the guns do not come from Hartford, but somehow they end up on our streets, and there’s many, many reasons for that.”

One of the big reasons, says Foley is the opioid addiction crisis and a related uptick in burglaries, as criminals look for items they can easily trade for drugs.

All guns collected will be destroyed unless forensic testing indicates they’ve been used in a crime.

 

 

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