Gun buyback planned in Acton

April 27, 2023

AB Cares is partnering with the Acton and Boxborough police departments and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to host a gun buyback Saturday, May 6 at the St. Matthew’s Methodist Church, 435 Central Street, Acton. The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon.

Individuals turning in unwanted firearms are asked to transport them to the site unloaded and in the trunk of their car. Ammunition will be accepted as well. No ID required, no questions asked – and each person turning in a firearm will have the option of receiving a gift card to a local grocery store. All firearms and ammunition will be handled by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and will be destroyed by the Massachusetts State Police.

The first gun buyback in 2021 exceeded expectations. A total of 34 firearms and an assortment of ammunition were collected, and last year, the event collected 20 firearms and additional ammunition. 

Many of those who turned in firearms expressed gratitude for the opportunity to do so in a safe manner. Most participants opted to “pay it forward” and donated their grocery gift cards to low-income residents of Acton and Boxborough. 

Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S., causing more than 38,000 deaths and nearly 85,000 injuries each year. Gun violence is an epidemic, and public health measures such as gun buyback programs are necessary steps to help address this crisis. 

“AB Cares is committed to suicide prevention, and helping reduce the risk of suicide by firearms is a good place to start,” said Deborah Garfield,  LICSW Director of The Eliot Center and member of the AB Cares coalition.

“We know that nearly 6 out of every ten gun deaths in Massachusetts are suicides, and firearm is the most lethal mean of suicide, with 22 percent of all suicides by firearm,” said Katie Neville, Acton-Boxborough United Way’s Executive Director and member of the AB Cares coalition. 

“This event will allow individuals to discard unwanted firearms in a simple, non-judgmental way … prevent(ing) unwanted guns from ending up in the hands of someone that may wish to do harm to themselves or others,” said Acton Police Sergeant Scott Krug, member of AB Cares. 

“These buybacks continue to enhance community and home safety by providing local residents with the opportunity to safely and securely dispose of unwanted firearms,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. 

The buyback is funded by numerous organizations including Acton-Boxborough United Way, Danny’s Place Youth Services, Minuteman Senior Services, West Acton Baptist Church, Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and the towns of Acton and Boxborough. Partners include the Acton and Boxborough police departments, the League of Women Voters – Acton Area, the Acton Council on Aging, NAMI Central Middlesex, the Boxborough Well-Being Committee and St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church.

AB Cares, a community-based collaborative, seeks to prevent suicide across the lifespan and support all who are impacted by suicide. AB Cares aims to support community-wide conversations, awareness, and connections across Acton and Boxborough in order to prevent suicide.