D.A., po­lice chiefs spon­sor free gun turn-in events

The Community Connection - - RELIGION - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

NORRISTOWN » The Mont­gomery County District At­tor­ney is join­ing forces with county po­lice chiefs to spon­sor free gun turnin events at six lo­ca­tions in Septem­ber to help cit­i­zens rid their homes of un­wanted guns and avoid po­ten­tial tragedies.

One of the lo­ca­tions to turn in un­wanted guns will be in Pottstown.

“The ac­ci­den­tal death or in­jury of a child due to a gun­shot is a fam­ily tragedy that is avoid­able and it hap­pens eight times ev­ery sin­gle day in the United States when a child finds a gun in his house and ac­ci­den­tally shoots him­self or her­self,” District At­tor­ney Kevin R. Steele said as he an­nounced the gun collection ini­tia­tive. “It’s a tragedy we are hop­ing to avoid in Mont­gomery County.”

The events, dubbed “Op­er­a­tion Safe Homes,” will take place on Sept. 12 and Sept. 15 at six po­lice depart­ments through­out the county. There will be no pay­ment for the guns and of­fi­cials said the pro­gram is de­signed as a pub­lic ser­vice to help res­i­dents get rid of un­wanted guns in a safe man­ner.

Or­ga­niz­ers said res­i­dents may have guns left to them by rel­a­tives or an old hunt­ing ri­fle “that’s seen bet­ter days” and may be look­ing for a ways to safely dis­card

them.

“This is an event to get un­wanted guns out of houses and have them safely de­stroyed so they don’t end up in the hands of cu­ri­ous lit­tle ones or the hands of crim­i­nals,” Steele added.

Any firearm will be ac­cepted from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 12 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 15 at six po­lice depart­ments serv­ing as dropoff points, in­clud­ing: Pottstown Po­lice Depart­ment, 100 E. High Street, Pottstown; Up­per Me­rion Po­lice Depart­ment, 100 W. Val­ley Forge Road, King of Prus­sia; Whit­pain Po­lice Depart­ment, 960 Wentz Road, Blue Bell; Lower Sal­ford Po­lice Depart­ment, 349 Main St., Har­leysville; Lower Me­rion Po­lice Depart­ment, 71 E. Lan­caster Ave., Ardmore; and Abing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment, 1166 Old York Road, Abing­ton.

Of­fi­cials stressed the firearms must be un­loaded. No bul­lets, mag­a­zines or clips will be ac­cepted.

All firearms col­lected will be melted down and per­ma­nently de­stroyed, Steele said.

“Many peo­ple have both guns and chil­dren or grand­chil­dren in their homes and are un­com­fort­able with that fact. We are mak­ing it easy to get rid of un­wanted guns and make sure they are de­stroyed rather than be­ing sold on,” Steele said.

Cit­i­zens who have ques­tions about the “Op­er­a­tion Safe Homes” event can call the Mont­gomery County De­tec­tive Bureau at 610278-3368 or any of the six par­tic­i­pat­ing po­lice depart­ments.

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