NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk police will host a gun buyback program after receiving an anonymous donation of $5,026 in honor of the victims of the Newtown school shooting. Officials are finalizing plans for how the program will be conducted.
The donation was given with the stipulation that it be used for a gun trade-in program, Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said. The $26 represents the 26 people who were in killed in the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“We’re in the process of getting information from other towns that have conducted these programs, such as Bridgeport and Stamford,” Kulhawik said. “We’re look at what they did and how they did it, and we’ll likely finalize our plans next week.”
The buyback would likely accept both registered and illegal firearms, he said.
“My main concern is that if somebody traded in a gun that had been used as a murder weapon. We have to know how we would handle something like that to make sure we have all our bases covered,” he said. Norwalk would also have to determine whether it would pay for the guns with cash or gift cards.
Stamford hosted two gun buybacks last month and netted 32 guns. The first event was held before the Sandy Hook shooting and gathered 11 handguns and two shotguns. Stamford is planning to host two more events in January. Other towns such as Darien are also considering hosting buyback programs.
Two days before the Sandy Hook shooting, Norwalk police teamed with the states attorney’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in a new initiative to cut down on gun violence in the city. This partnership would likely not be involved in the gun buyback program, Kulhawik said. But the agencies have begun evaluating cases in an effort to identify and arrest the city’s most violent offenders, he said.