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Gun  buy-back nets 300 weapons

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>Lt. William Gordon looks over a black powder pistol with shoulder stock, one of 160 firearms taken in by Greenfield Police during a gun buy-back Saturday. Most of the weapons were shotguns, rifles and pistols, though one AR-15 assault rifle was turned in.

    Recorder/David Rainville
    Lt. William Gordon looks over a black powder pistol with shoulder stock, one of 160 firearms taken in by Greenfield Police during a gun buy-back Saturday. Most of the weapons were shotguns, rifles and pistols, though one AR-15 assault rifle was turned in.

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>Lt. William Gordon looks over a black powder pistol with shoulder stock, one of 160 firearms taken in by Greenfield Police during a gun buy-back Saturday. Most of the weapons were shotguns, rifles and pistols, though one AR-15 assault rifle was turned in.

    Recorder/David Rainville
    Lt. William Gordon looks over a black powder pistol with shoulder stock, one of 160 firearms taken in by Greenfield Police during a gun buy-back Saturday. Most of the weapons were shotguns, rifles and pistols, though one AR-15 assault rifle was turned in.

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>Lt. William Gordon looks over a black powder pistol with shoulder stock, one of 160 firearms taken in by Greenfield Police during a gun buy-back Saturday. Most of the weapons were shotguns, rifles and pistols, though one AR-15 assault rifle was turned in.
  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>Lt. William Gordon looks over a black powder pistol with shoulder stock, one of 160 firearms taken in by Greenfield Police during a gun buy-back Saturday. Most of the weapons were shotguns, rifles and pistols, though one AR-15 assault rifle was turned in.

GREENFIELD — There are 300 fewer guns in circulation today than Friday, thanks to a regional gun buy-back program.

“We brought in 160 guns,” said Greenfield Police Lt. William Gordon. “Northampton took in about 140.”

The two departments hosted gun buy-backs organized by the Northwestern District Attorneys Office and several community organizations Saturday. A no-questions-asked policy made sure people didn’t have to worry about not having the proper licenses when getting rid of their unwanted guns.

Those who got rid of their guns got peace of mind, along with a $50 prepaid debit card. One person brought a pre-assault-weapon-ban AR-15 assault rifle to the Greenfield station, and walked away with a $100 card.

Gordon said he was surprised to see the weapon turned in. The pre-ban gun is capable of accepting magazines that hold 30 or more bullets, and can fetch as high as $3,000 in a legitimate sale, Gordon said.

Only about 15 guns weren’t in working order, said Gordon. Non-working guns and ammunition were accepted at the event, but gift cards were not issued for them.

Most of the weapons were long guns, and three large, stand-up recycling bins were filled with rifles and shotguns after the buy-back. A copier paper box full of handguns was also collected.

While most of the guns will be ground up for recycling at WTE this week, one rare firearm will be sent to the Springfield Armory Museum, when it reopens after the federal government shutdown.

“A lot of the officers were drooling over this one,” Gordon said, pulling a pearl-handled 1902 Colt Browning pistol from its pouch.

There were unique guns like the Colt, as well as beat-up World War I-era rifles and a rusty, hexagonal-barreled black powder pistol with a wire shoulder stock, as well as plenty of dime-a-dozen handguns.

Some of the cheap “Saturday night special” pistols could be a danger to even the most well-trained hands. A couple snub-nosed revolvers resembled cap guns, and it didn’t take a firearms enthusiast to tell they were made from inferior metals. Gordon said he wouldn’t trust the flimsy firearms not to misfire or worse.

While the buy-back was aimed at getting unwanted guns out of reach of the mentally unwell, and keeping them from being taken in a burglary, the buy-back also netted some stolen guns.

“We brought in two guns that had been stolen in California and one from Michigan,” Gordon said.

He said the department brought in an extra dispatcher for the day, whose sole duty was to run serial numbers and find out if any of the guns were linked to a crime.

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