By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — If you have a gun in your home and you’re not sure what to do with it, the Police Department, with help from a local couple, has an option for you.
Philip and Judith Rohn of Woodbridge Road contributed $2,600 for a gun buyback program. Selectmen voted to accept their donation Feb. 11.
“How could you not support it?” said Selectman Rosemary Connelly Smedile, with whom Philip Rohn discussed the matter a few weeks ago.
The Rohns were deeply moved by the murders of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December, according to Smedile. The Rohns could not be reached last night to comment for this story.
The department will be hosting the program March 9 at the police station, 1475 Osgood St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The goal, according to police Chief Paul Gallagher, is to give North Andover citizens an opportunity to safely dispose of guns that are no longer wanted, used or needed.
“The firearms will be destroyed before they fall into the wrong hands, potentially resulting in a tragedy,” Gallagher said.
The program is open to North Andover residents who turn in working handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault rifles. Each will receive American Express gift cards valued at $50, $100 and $150 for the various weapons. There is a limit of three gift certificates per family, but there is no limit on the number of guns that may be turned in.
Non-working firearms, replicas, BB guns and ammunition will also be accepted, but no gift cards will be provided for those items. For more information, visit the North Andover Police Department website at www.napd.us, or contact Lt. Charles Gray at 978-683-3168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will receive a $150 gift card for an assault rifle, a $100 card for a handgun, and a $50 card for a shotgun or rifle.
Weapons should be unloaded and transported in the trunk of a vehicle. Handguns should be carried in a clear plastic bag.
Officers will be on hand to assist with rifles and shotguns. Anyone who needs help making sure a weapon is safe or does not wish to transport it may call Gray to make arrangements for the weapon to be picked up by the department’s firearms officers.
The program is limited to the $2,600 contributed by the Rohns.