EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 22, 2013

Lawrence will buy back guns

By Keith Eddings
keddings@eagletribune.com

---- — LAWRENCE – The city will provide gift cards worth up to $150 to anyone who turns a gun over to police at a Haverhill Street church on May 11, Mayor William Lantigua said yesterday.

The gun buyback would be the first in Lawrence, Lantigua said. A similar program in Haverhill last year netted 24 handguns, 15 rifles and shotguns, 15 non-working guns, about 200 rounds of ammunition, a Vietnam War-era hand grenade and a few pellet rifles.

Lantigua announced the gun buyback in a press release that did not say whether it will be limited to Lawrence residents, but the release said no questions will be asked — including names or addresses — of anyone who turns in a weapon.

He did not return a phone call for further comment.

Owners will be invited to turn in an unlimited number of guns, but will receive gift cards for up to three. The press release did not say where the cards will be redeemable.

Rifles and shotguns will fetch a $50 gift card. A handgun will be worth a $100 gift card. A semi-automatic rifle will get a $150 gift card.

“We have intentionally set Saturday, May 11, the day before Mother’s Day, for this event,” Lantigua said. “Why not give a mother the best Mothers’ Day gift – peace of mind.”

Police will accept guns at the parking lot between the Fountain of Salvation Christian Church at 165 Haverhill St. and the Lawrence Senior Center next door, from noon to 8 p.m.

People should arrive with their guns locked in the trunks of their cars and leave them there for police to retrieve. Police will pick up handguns at the homes of people who do not have transportation or who are uncomfortable transporting a gun.

For more information, call police Capt. Scott McNamara at 978-794-5900, or Arthur McCabe, who runs a violence prevention program for the city’s Department of Community Development, at 978-620-3516.