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Brianna Barnes, Saint Francis Hospital
O: 860-714-6070 C: 860-367-6187
Monica Buchanan, Connecticut Children’s
Tina Varona, Hartford HealthCare
Mark D’Antonio, Yale New Haven Health
Po Murray, Newtown Action Alliance
Hartford, Conn. (November 11, 2022) – For the 2nd consecutive year, Connecticut Children’s, Saint Francis Hospital, Hartford Hospital and Yale New Haven Health are participating in the annual #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback coordinated by Newtown Action Alliance. The statewide event seeks to reduce firearm-related injuries by lowering the number of unwanted and unsecured guns that are inside Connecticut homes.
On Saturday, November 12, 2022, Connecticut residents can turn in working guns in exchange for gift cards while supplies last. Guns must be unloaded and placed in a clear plastic bag inside a paper bag or box. In addition to disposing of unwanted guns, the event promotes safe storage by distributing a limited number of free gun safes and gun locks to participants.
“As a gun owner, parent and pediatric surgeon, one of my top priorities is to make Connecticut homes and communities as safe as possible,” said Brendan Campbell, MD, MPH, Director of Pediatric Trauma, Connecticut Children’s. “We have seen a steady increase in gun violence throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Gun buybacks help to reduce access to unwanted firearms, thereby reducing the potential that such firearms could cause harm to children and families.”
Connecticut residents can turn in unwanted firearms on Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the following locations:
“We know every unsecured or unwanted firearm poses a risk, contributing to accidental deaths, suicide, and injuries no matter the experience of the handler. Suicide accounts for more than half of all firearm deaths in the United States,” said David S. Shapiro, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Saint Francis Hospital. “Reducing lethal means in the home is imperative, which is the main objective of the buyback program. Saint Francis supports the safe handling and storage of firearms, as well as the statewide effort to draw attention to this public health concern.”
“COVID-19 has had an alarming impact on gun violence and gun buybacks will certainly save lives,” said Jonathan Gates, MD, Chief of Trauma, Hartford Hospital. “Safer communities depend on getting deadly weapons out of homes, preventing tragedies that impact lives forever.”
Owners can remain anonymous, with no identification required and no questions asked. They will receive gift cards ranging from $200 for assault weapons, to $100 for handguns or revolvers, to $50 for rifles and shotguns, to $25 for handguns and any type of black powder gun. Owners may turn in non-operable guns, BB guns, flare guns and ammunition, but will not receive a gift card for those items. All guns that are turned in will be destroyed unless forensic testing confirms they were used to commit a crime.
“Firearm injuries are the leading cause of death for children and adolescents in the United States,” said James Dodington, MD, Medical Director, Center for Injury and Violence Prevention, Yale New Haven Health and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. “Promoting safe storage, asking about firearm safety, and building an ecosystem of community violence prevention strategies can save precious lives. We can make a difference, and healthcare providers should recognize their central role as messengers of safety for all our children.”
“Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy nearly 10 years ago, over one million Americans have been shot, nearly 400,000 have been killed, and guns are now the number one cause of death for American children,” said Po Murray of the Newtown Action Alliance. “The #KeepKidsSafe statewide gun buyback and gun safe giveaway day will help reduce gun injuries and deaths in our communities in Connecticut.”
Each year, an average of 40,000 people die from firearm injuries in the United States. Initiatives like the #KeepKidsSafe Connecticut Statewide Gun Buyback are designed to raise awareness in order to reduce injuries and fatalities. In 2021, residents turned in 531 firearms during the inaugural statewide gun buyback. Over the past 13 years, the Capital Region Gun Buyback Program in Hartford has collected over 1,500 unwanted firearms from owners in the greater Hartford region.
About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s is the only health system in Connecticut dedicated to children, providing more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs. We’re known for exceptional care that kids and parents love, conveniently delivered at locations close to home and by Video Visit. Our experts lead breakthrough research and innovative partnerships, and have won awards for everything from nursing excellence to patient-friendly technology. U.S. News & World Report named us a best children’s hospital in the nation. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare for all children.
About Saint Francis Hospital
Saint Francis Hospital has been an anchor institution in Connecticut since 1897. Saint Francis is a member of Trinity Health Of New England and Trinity Health, one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. Saint Francis Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center, is a 617-bed hospital, a major teaching hospital, and the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Other Saint Francis entities include the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Smilow Cancer Hospital Yale-New Haven at Saint Francis, Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group, and Community Health and Well Being, which includes the Curtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity, the Joan C. Dauber Food Pantry, and the Greater Hartford Family Advocacy Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @SaintFrancisCT
About Hartford Hospital
With 36,000 colleagues, Hartford HealthCare’s unified culture enhances access, affordability, equity and expertise. Its care-delivery system — with more than 400 locations serving 185 towns and cities — includes two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, a behavioral health network, a multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, a mobile neighborhood health program and a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation network. On average, Hartford HealthCare touches more than 17,000 lives every single day. The unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a unified high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut offering unparalleled expertise at the most affordable cost. The institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular, Ayer Neuroscience, Orthopedics and Tallwood Urology. Visit Hartford HealthCare at www.HartfordHealthCare.org and stay connected through newsletters and social media.
About Yale New Haven Health
Yale New Haven Health, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the communities it serves. YNHHS includes five hospitals – Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Westerly and Yale New Haven hospitals, several specialty networks and Northeast Medical Group, a non-profit medical foundation with several hundred community-based and hospital-employed physicians. www.ynhhs.org.