AB Cares to host Safer Homes, Safer Community: A Community Gun Buyback program to be held Saturday, May 15th, 2021
Acton-Boxborough, Mass. – April 19, 2021 - AB Cares is partnering with the Acton and Boxborough Police Departments and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to host a gun buyback initiative on Saturday, May 15th at the St. Matthew’s Methodist Church located at 435 Central Street in Acton. The event will run from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Individuals turning in unwanted firearms are asked to transport them to the site unloaded and in the trunk of their car. Ammunition will be accepted as well. No ID required, no questions asked - and each person turning in a firearm will have the option of receiving a gift card to a local grocery store. All firearms and ammunition will be handled by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and will be destroyed by the Massachusetts State Police.
“Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S., causing more than 38,000 deaths and nearly 85,000 injuries each year. During my career in public health, I’ve seen first-hand that gun violence is an epidemic, and that public health measures such as gun buyback programs are necessary steps to help address this crisis,” said Dr. Tami Gouveia, State Representative of the 14th Middlesex District.
“This event is incredibly timely; we know that mental health across the lifespan has suffered as a result of the pandemic; in fact, some now refer to the “dual pandemic” of suicide and COVID-19. AB Cares is committed to suicide prevention, and helping reduce the risk of suicide by firearms is a good place to start,” said Deborah Garfield, LICSW Director of The Eliot Center and member of the AB Cares coalition.
“We know that nearly 6 out of every 10 gun deaths in Massachusetts are a suicide, and the firearm suicide rate in Massachusetts is the highest it has been in four years. This event will provide residents the opportunity to safely, securely dispose of unwanted and unused firearms to make our homes and our communities safer by reducing the chance of accidental discharge, self-harm, and theft,” said Griet Dehandschutter, Executive Director at Acton-Boxborough United Way and member of the AB Cares coalition.
“This event will allow individuals to discard unwanted firearms in a simple, non-judgmental way. It is a tremendous public safety initiative that could prevent unwanted guns from ending up in the hands of someone that may wish to do harm to themselves or others,” said Acton Detective Mike Eracleo, member of AB Cares.
“Providing residents the opportunity to safely and securely dispose of unwanted firearms reduces the chance of accidental discharge, self-harm and theft – making both our homes and our communities safer,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “We’re proud to partner with all the stakeholders from the Acton-Boxborough community, including our Acton and Boxborough Police partners, to make this initiative possible.”
The initiative is funded through the generosity of numerous organizations including Acton-Boxborough United Way, Danny’s Place Youth Services, Minuteman Senior Services, Roche Bros., Idylwilde Farms, UCC Boxborough, Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and the towns of Acton and Boxborough. Many local organizations have also stepped up to support this event as partners, including the Acton and Boxborough Police Departments, the League of Women Voters – Acton Area, the Acton Council on Aging, NAMI Central Middlesex, the Boxborough Well-Being Committee, South Acton Congregational Church and St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church.
While AB Cares has received tremendous support for this initiative, additional funding is still needed to support the event. If you would like to donate, visit abuw.org, or send a check made out to Acton-Boxborough United Way to:
c/o Acton-Boxborough United Way
PO Box 2258
Acton, MA 01720
Donations for Safer Homes, Safer Community are being accepted by Acton-Boxborough United Way as fiscal agent for AB Cares. Acton-Boxborough United Way is a registered 501(C)(3) organization; tax ID number is 04-2740795. AB Cares is the lead organizer of Safer Homes, Safer Community together with many Acton and Boxborough businesses, faith communities and community organizations.
AB Cares, a community-based collaborative, seeks to prevent suicide across the lifespan and support all who are impacted by suicide. AB Cares aims to support community-wide conversations, awareness, and connections across Acton and Boxborough in order to prevent suicide.