Cambridge Safer Homes and Safer Community gift cards for firearms events yield record number of unwanted firearms

A record 245 unwanted firearms were safely surrendered at seventh annual Cambridge Safer Homes, Safer Community Gift Cards for Guns event on Saturday, June 11 at Reservoir Church and Margaret Fuller House. Firearms that were returned included pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, BB guns that resembled 9mm pistols, and a toy gun. Residents of Cambridge and as far away as New Hampshire also dropped off ammunition and various gun parts. This year’s turnout surpassed last year’s previous record of more than 150 weapons collected. Public safety officials and community volunteers have now collected more than 560 guns at events in Cambridge, distributed gun safety locks and shared detailed suicide prevention and safety information firearms.

The Cambridge Gun Gift Cards – part of the city’s initiative to reduce unintentional injuries at home and reduce the risk of suicide, domestic violence and street crime – are a collaboration of the City of Cambridge, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and over 60 faith-based and community organizations and businesses. Since 2013, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has helped 15 towns and villages across the county, and more than 1,890 unwanted weapons have been returned.

For Cambridge residents who were unable to participate last weekend and still wish to dispose of any unused firearms at home, please contact 617-349-6009. Appointments scheduled by Thursday, June 30, 2022 will continue to be eligible for grocery gift cards valued at $50-$200.

Attendees cited a wide range of reasons for attending this year’s event. A father said after seeing the recent shootings across the country, he wanted to make sure his son wouldn’t have access to a gun in his home. A widow said she found a gun in a bag while cleaning up her late husband’s belongings and wanted it removed from her home. An elderly man said he had owned a gun for decades but had never used it and wanted it safely destroyed.

Overall, more than 60 organizations helped make this weekend’s events possible through planning, participation, support and donations. The following Cambridge interfaith organizations and community partners collaborated on this important initiative: A Place to Heal Ministries, Abundant Life Church, Calvary Praise and Worship Center, Cambridgeport Baptist Church, Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, Christian Mission Holiness Church, Congregation Eitz Chayim , Christ Church , First Baptist Church, First Church in Cambridge Congregational, First Parish Cambridge, Friends Meeting Cambridge, Harvard Epworth United Methodist Church, Harvard Memorial Church, Islamic Society of Boston (ISB Cambridge), Journey Church, Kingdom Empowerment Center, Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church, St. Paul Parish, Pentecostal Tabernacle, Reservoir Church, Rush AME Zion Church, Salvation Army, Cambridge Citadel, St. James Episcopal Church, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Temple Beth Shalom, Union Baptist Church, Western Aven Baptist Church ue, Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge Community Centre, Cambridge Women’s Center, Cambridge YWCA, Community Art Center, East End House, Many Helping Hands, Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, The Loop Lab, Transition House, Tutoring Plus, YWCA Cambridge, CambridgeSide , Central Square BID, Harvard Square Business Association, Middle East Restaurant, Pemberton Market, Star Market/Shaw’s, Toscanini’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge Council on Aging, Cambridge Domestic & Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Human Service Programs, Cambridge Peace Commission, Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge Public Works, Cambridge Veterans Services, The Office of Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker, Massachusetts State Police and Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

For more information on Cambridge’s Safer Homes, Safer Community initiative, please visit camb.ma/GiftCardsforGuns. If you or your organization would like to get involved in a future event (for example, donate gift cards, volunteer at the event, or help post flyers before an event), or if you live in a community who might be interested in hosting a similar event, please email Lori Lander of Many Helping Hands ([email protected]), Jeremy Warnick of the Cambridge Police Department ([email protected]), or Kevin Maccioli of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office ([email protected]).

Michael N. Clark