A gun buyback program in western Massachusetts has received a boost from some people who are almost daily witnesses to the problem of gun violence.
Trauma surgeons, other doctors, and staff at Baystate Medical Center, as well as the hospital itself are helping to fund the gun buyback program that will be held March 2nd at the Springfield Police Dept Headquarters. Dr. Ronald Gross, the chief of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the hospital spearheaded the effort that resulted in a contribution of $2,450 to buyback guns.
Gross said he hopes the attention the program receives will spark a dialogue on not only the availability of guns but on the causes of violence, including poverty and mental health issues.
In some cities, gun shot victims account for 65 percent of the cases that come into hospital emergency rooms, at Baystate in Springfield, its 15 percent, according to Dr. Gross
Springfield police and the Hampden District Attorney will conduct the county-wide program. Donations from private sources to fund it total about $10,000. People can bring working firearms to the Springfield Police Headquarters from 10AM to 5PM, or arrangements can be made to have the weapons picked up. Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney said a gun can be exchanged for a $50 cash card, which will be doubled for an assault weapon.
The last gun buyback program in greater Springfield was in 2009 when about 100 firearms were turned in.
Other sponsors of the gun buyback include Convenient Cards, the Springfield Sheraton Hotel, and the Springfield Business Improvement District.Each contributed $2500 according to BID executive director Don Courtemanche.
A number of gun buyback programs have been held across the country in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.