The program was done in partnership with the Burlington Clergy Group, the Burlington Board of Health, and Wegman’s Supermarkets, which pledged $50 gift cards for each gun turned in.
In total 15 guns, including rifles, handguns and one bolt-action shotgun, were turned over to police by Burlington residents. Over 400 rounds of ammunition were also dropped off at the station. This is the first gun buy-back program held by the department, Officer James Tigges told Patch.
Tigges said that the serial numbers of the guns will be checked against police records to ensure they are not suspected of being used in a past crime by the Middlesex Sheriff Office. At the end of the day the guns were turned over to the sheriff's office who will work with the ATF to destroy the guns.
“Burlington is a safe community and the vast majority of gun owners are responsible, law abiding citizens. This initiative of collecting unwanted guns and weapons, addresses a vital public safety and public health issue” Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said in a statement announcing the program.
Tigges said the idea for the buy-back program came from The Burlington Clergy Group who said they wanted to do something on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The group also bought gun locks that residents can pick up at the police station.
Tigges said in his view the program was a big success.
"It was very successful," he said after the program ended. "It exceeded our expectations. We have 15 guns that were out in Burlington that are no longer in town."
Tigges said one couple who brought in a couple of guns said they had forgotten the guns were in their home. Another woman had her gun in a sock in a drawer and not in a safe.
"Imagine if their homes had been broken into," he said.