Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 8, 2013

Get rid of it

Police set statewide gun turn-in on Saturday

CUMBERLAND — For the first time ever, Maryland law enforcement agencies will conduct a statewide gun turn-in program on Saturday.

The effort will be under way in 20 of the state’s 24 local jurisdictions, including Allegany and Garrett counties. In Allegany County, guns may be turned in at the Cumberland Police Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In Garrett County, State Police will accept guns at the McHenry barrack from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The program was initiated by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. Police will accept handguns, rifles, shotguns and ammunition for safe disposal. No personal identification is required and no advance appointment is needed.

“Any Marylander who has a gun that is no longer wanted will be able get rid of it safely, no questions asked,” Gansler said. “Our goal is to provide a simple means for families to make their homes and communities safer. I want to thank the Maryland State Police and the many county and local law enforcement agencies for their hard work building safer communities throughout Maryland and making this statewide public safety event possible.”

State Police at McHenry said anyone bringing firearms to the barrack should ensure they follow safety precautions. Firearms should be unloaded. Upon arrival at the barrack, go inside and contact the duty officer first, without your firearm. Inform the duty officer you have a firearm to turn in. The duty officer will then escort you to your vehicle, or give you specific instructions on how to turn in your firearm. Do no walk into the barrack carryng your firearm.

Once surrendered, the firearm may be processed through law enforcement databases to determine if it has been reported as being stolen or flagged as being used in the commission of a crime.

Police agencies throughout the nation have been conducting gun turn-in events and buy-back programs. Several Maryland counties and Baltimore conducted gun buy-backs that took in hundreds of weapons in December after the mass shooting that killed 20 students at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

More information about the gun turn-in program is available at the website http://www.oag.state.md.us/gun_turn_in.html .

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