181 Weapons Turned in at Community Gun Buyback Event

(Hartford, Conn.) –For the fifth year, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center collaborated with the City of Hartford, Hartford Police Department, the Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office and Community Renewal Team (CRT) to help get guns off the streets. Each year, hundreds of crimes and accidental injuries occur in Connecticut as a result of the misuse of handguns.

A total of 181 firearms, including 7 assault weapons, 119 pistols/handguns, 34 rifles, 20 shotguns and one pen gun were turned in during the Community Gun Buyback Program that was held on Saturday, December 7th from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Community Renewal Team in Hartford.

“We are proud to be holding our 5th Annual Gun Buyback for Connecticut residents,” said Brendan Campbell, MD, Director of Pediatric Trauma, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “It is our hope that this event will be both an opportunity for individuals to get rid of unwanted firearms, and a reminder for gun owners to make certain that their firearms are stored safely,” concluded Dr. Campbell.

The Gun Buyback Program provided Stop & Shop gift cards to individuals who turned in an operable firearm. A $150 gift card was given for an assault rifle, a $75 gift card for a handgun or revolver and a $25 gift card for the return of a shotgun or rifle. Guns were asked to be unloaded, placed in a clear plastic bag, and inside a paper bag or box.

All guns received are destroyed unless forensic testing confirms they have been used in the commission of a crime. Non-working guns, black-powder weapons, BB guns, flare guns, and ammunition could be turned in; however, they were not eligible for a gift card.

“We want our community to be safe,” said Jeff Finkelstein, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital. “We want to make sure our children can play safely outside without fear of hearing gunshots or being accidentally hit by a stray bullet. This program aims to collect as many guns as possible for the benefit of our communities,” added Dr. Finkelstein.

“If guns could speak, one can only wonder what stories they could tell about what they have done in the past or what they could do in the future,” said William Marshall, DO, Director of Trauma, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. “Ridding our streets of guns is a crucial part of our effort to make neighborhoods safer for everyone,” added Dr. Marshall.

About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center 

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a nationally recognized, 187-bed not-for-profit children’s hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Named among the best in the nation for several of its pediatric specialties in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings, Connecticut Children’s is the only free-standing children’s hospital in Connecticut that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Our pediatric services are available at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, with neonatal intensive care units at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut Health Center, along with a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center, five specialty care centers and 10 other locations across the state. Connecticut Children’s has a medical staff of nearly 1,100 practicing in more than 30 specialties. For more information, visit www.connecticutchildrens.org or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/connecticutchildrens and Twitter at www.twitter.com/ctchildrens.

About Hartford Hospital 

Hartford Hospital, founded in 1854, is one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England with one of the region’s busiest surgery practices. It is annually ranked among America’s Best Hospitals by US News & World Report and has been recognized nationally for the quality of many of its programs, including, cardiology, cancer, stroke and joint and spine care. The 867-bed regional referral centers provide high-quality care in all clinical disciplines. Among its divisions is The Institute of Living, a 114-bed mental health facility with a national and international reputation of excellence. Jefferson House, a 104-bed long-term care facility, is also a special division of Hartford Hospital. The hospital’s major centers of clinical excellence include cardiology, oncology, emergency services and trauma, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, bloodless surgery and advanced organ transplantation. Hartford Hospital owns and operates the state’s only air ambulance system, LIFE STAR.

About Saint Francis Care 

Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897. Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint Francis HealthCare Partners. Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and Home and Community Health Services is also a Saint Francis Care Partner. Saint Francis Care’s services are supported by a network of seven major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region. For more information, visit www.stfranciscare.com.