Cambridge’s Safer Homes, Safety Community Gun Buyback Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary

Thirty unwanted firearms were safely turned in at the fifth annual Cambridge “Safer Homes, Safer Community” gun buyback on Saturday, June 8th at the Pentecostal Tabernacle and Reservoir Church. The collected firearms included BB guns, shotguns, rifles, and handguns (several of which were loaded). Residents also dropped off ammunition. Over the past five years, public safety officials and community volunteers have now collected more than 170 firearms at the Cambridge events, handed out firearm safety locks, and shared extensive information about suicide prevention and gun safety.

The Cambridge gun buyback – part of the city’s initiative aimed at reducing accidental injury in the home -- is a collaboration of the City of Cambridge, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, and faith and community-based organizations.  Since 2013, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has assisted 11 municipal departments throughout the county, with more than 20 total buybacks, resulting in more than 1,000 unwanted weapons turned in.

More than 60 organizations helped make this weekend’s events possible through planning, participation, support, and donations. They included the following: A Place to Heal Ministries, Abundant Life Church, Calvary Praise and Worship Center, Cambridgeport Baptist Church, Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, Christian Mission Holiness Church, Congregation Eitz Chayim, Christ Church, First Baptist Church, First Church in Cambridge Congregational, First Parish Cambridge, Friends Meeting Cambridge, Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church, Harvard Memorial Church, Islamic Society of Boston, Journey Church, Kingdom Empowerment Center, Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church, Parish of Saint Paul, Pentecostal Tabernacle, Reservoir Church, Rush AME Zion Church, Salvation Army, Cambridge Citadel, St. James Episcopal Church, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Temple Beth Shalom, Union Baptist Church, Western Avenue Baptist Church, Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge Community Center, Cambridge Women’s Center, Cambridge YWCA, Community Art Center, East End House, Many Helping Hands, Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, The Loop Lab, Transition House, Tutoring Plus, YWCA Cambridge, Cambridgeside, Central Square Business Association, Fresh Pond Market, Harvard Square Business Association, Middle East Restaurant, Pemberton Market, Star Market/Shaw’s, Toscanini’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge Council on Aging, Cambridge Domestic & Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Human Service Programs, Cambridge Peace Commission, Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge Public Works, Cambridge Veterans Services, Massachusetts State Police and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

“The outpouring of community support for this effort demonstrates the broad-based desire to take action to reduce gun violence and the hope and belief that together we can help save lives.” said Lori Lander, founding organizer of Many Helping Hands 365 and one of the leaders in this event. “The Safer Homes, Safer Community gun buyback is at heart a public health initiative intended to create awareness and dialogue around gun safety, the danger of having unsecured guns in a home, and to encourage people to remove unwanted guns from their homes.”

“Thank you to everyone who brought in unwanted firearms for safe disposal on June 8,” said Claude Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer and director of the Cambridge Public Health Department. “By removing these weapons from your homes, you are creating a safer environment for your family, friends, and neighbors.” 

“This important event continues to grow each year with more and more community support,” said Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr. “Working with our local regional partners and providing ways to dispose of unwanted firearms is making our communities and homes safer places to live by limiting the unintended access to these weapons.” 

“Thanks to local organizations and our law enforcement partners, we have accepted over 1,000 unwanted firearms through these community buybacks,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “We look forward to supporting buybacks throughout Middlesex County this month, and to helping more individuals safely dispose of these unwanted firearms.”

If you or someone you know of was not able to participate this weekend and would like to dispose of an unwanted gun in your home, please contact the Cambridge Police Department at 617-349-3300. As an alternative, three other nearby gun buybacks will be held on the following dates:

  • June 15 in Newton from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at The Second Church (61 Chestnut St.)
  • June 22 in Watertown from 9 a.m. – 12 Noon at the First Parish Church (35 Church St.)
  • June 29 in Arlington from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Department of Public Works (51 Grove St.)

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Page was posted on 6/13/2019 9:30 AM
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