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