NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The New Haven Police Department is taking a steps aimed at getting more guns off the streets. In six years of running the program, they’ve received nearly 700 guns.
“This year so far we’ve collected over 120 guns off the streets most of them off of criminals and most of them have been engaged have been part of the illegal activity,” said Otoniel Reyes, Assistant Police Chief with NHPD.
Police said the program prevents guns getting into the wrong hands.
“These are guns in homes. Homes get burglarized,” said officer David Hartman.
The guns will be destroyed. Police say inmates will turn the destroyed pieces into gardening tools that will become productive in the community.
“Those gardening tools are hope is that they will be then donated to the New Haven Board of Education,” Hartman said.
Steve Yanovsky, the Communications Director with the Newtown Action Alliance Foundation said, “Anything that we can do as a group to get guns off the street means fewer people will be shot to death. 90 people will be shot to death in the United States today and tomorrow and the next day.”
Yale New Haven Hospital’s emergency department sees 100 gun shot victims a year and about 15 percent are deadly.
“We only see what makes it to the emergency department there are many others that are dead at the scene that we would not see,” said Gail D’Onofrio, the chief of Emergency Services.