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In wake of Connecticut shooting, 449 firearms surrendered in city today

“I want to make sure this never got in the hands of the wrong person.”

officers with guns

Officers Terrill Maddred, Joseph Samuels and Ralph Horton take a break this afternoon from loading firearms into a police van. The guns will be inventoried and destroyed.

Photo by: Mark Reutter

Today’s “Goods for Guns” program had been planned weeks ago, but the massacre of 20 school children in Connecticut yesterday was on the minds of those who traded in their weapons for groceries in northeast Baltimore.

Geneva McBride was more than happy to give up an Army shotgun a neighbor had given her 20 years ago.

While the $100 ShopRite gift card she received in return for the gun would come in handy over the holidays, “why I really came here,” she said, “was ’cause of those children. I want to make sure this never got in the hands of the wrong person.”

The same motivation was expressed by many others who came to St. Paul Baptist Church, opposite City College, to exchange firearms for a ShopRite gift card in a program co-sponsored by the Baltimore City Police and Klein’s ShopRite.

In the space of four hours, 449 guns were accepted by police, no questions asked, said Major Darryl DeSousa, commander of the Northeast District.

Wayne and Angenetta Johnson (left) and Geneva McBride traded in old shotguns. Officer Kevin Gesla stands between the Johnsons. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

Wayne and Angenetta Johnson (left) and Geneva McBride traded in old shotguns. Officer Kevin Gesla stands between the Johnsons. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

“We got everything from derringers to long rifles,” he said. “We picked up 99mm pistols, 38 revolvers, long rifles, sawed-off shotguns, the works.”

A bin full of surrendered pistols. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

A bin full of surrendered pistols. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

While people participating in previous gun buybacks usually had little to say to the police, many people today wanted to talk about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, DeSousa said.

“People got up this morning and said, ‘What can I do?’ This is what they did. They turned their guns in.

“I met a lady who came from Aberdeen. That says a lot – someone coming all the way from Aberdeen to get rid of a gun in her house.”

The number of guns surrendered today surprised DeSousa, who thought about two-thirds the number was more likely. Howard Klein said his family’s supermarket chain was also surprised by the turnout, but had plenty of gift cards on hand to meet the demand.

Even more delighted was Mark Washington. In a neighborhood that regularly sees drive-by shootings and other gun violence, the sight of firearms piling up in the entry hall of the church was deeply satisfying to the executive director of the Coldstream Homestead Montebello Community Corp.

“It’s fantastic what you see here,” Washington enthused. “This has been a wonderful concerted effort by a local business, the Baltimore Police Department and the city.”

City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Councilmen Warren Branch, Nick Mosby and Brandon Scott mixed among the crowd of mostly middle aged and elderly residents.

Posing in front of St. Paul Baptist Church this afternoon: Mark Washington, Marshall Klein, Councilman Nick Mosby, Howard Klein, Council President Jack Young, Councilman Warren Branch and Major Darryl DeSousa. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

Posing in front of St. Paul Baptist Church this afternoon: Mark Washington, Marshall Klein, Councilman Nick Mosby, Howard Klein, Council President Jack Young, Councilman Warren Branch and Major Darryl DeSousa. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

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  • http://ozarkscrescentmural.blogspot.com/ Victoria-Ozarks Crescent Mural

    Reading your article has inspired us to take apart a rifle and destroy it. We live in a rural area, so we aren’t aware of a program such as yours. It’d sure be nice if your program could take hold all across the nation. If you have any power to see your program go nationwide, please do.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dinah101 Deborah Stevenson

    Bravo for Baltimore.

  • http://blog.trwolfe.com T.R. Wolfe

    Amazing story. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/yvettetorell Yvette Marie Torell

    Yes, this is fantastic and every community should have such a program.  Maybe some major retailer will step up and offer a gift card nationally in exchange for guns.  Let this idea go viral.

  • Brian McClellan

    a lot of those guns were probably stolen …maybe by the people turning them in to get 100 bucks no question asked about how and where they acquired the weapon…i guess it beats getting 10 years…i wont be turning in my weapons to defend myself against criminals

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HKPYVFOHPQQNGJJTBSKLRQVBY4 believer in the truth

    To Bryan, a likely response from a cynical person. Instead of appreciation you give speculation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HKPYVFOHPQQNGJJTBSKLRQVBY4 believer in the truth

    To Brian, a likely response from a cynical mind. Instead of appreciation you show disdain. Judge not lest you be judged. You don’t know tese people.These people have good intentions. it is people like you who would rather keep their guns no matter how many lives are lost. Your guns are more impottant than lives.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FO77BUVQQHIXHRHGJQYYEEWPRQ Moe

    It’s amazing how easily americans give up their rights and freedoms. If these firearms weren’t stolen they could have sold them to firearms retailers for Alot more money than that $100 gift card ( like the S&W  357 on top of the pile value about $600 ).
    And FFL Dealers check a persons background through the ATF so these firearms wouldn’t have turned up in the wrong hands. Also the pic of the one bolt action rifle doesn’t even have a bolt and is very rusty so it was inoperative anyway and couldn’t have hurt anyone unless it was swung like a baseball bat. It’s the lack of knowledge about firearms that causes this unwarranted fear about fireams. Turning in or cmpletely banning fireams will Not stop crime or shootings because criminals will still have firearms while society would be unarmed and unable to defend it’s self. I know people depend on the police but where are the police when a incedent starts??? When live out in the country and have 1 sherriff on duty per shift in a 400+ square mile county so we plan to have the ability to defend ourselfs from any kind of attack or home invasion if we have to.

    • brseavey

       They were concerned about firearms getting into the wrong hands. This stopped it for each gun turned in. Apparently this was worth more than more money for a gun that could go on to kill. MAke perfect sense to me. They did not give up the right to behave compassionately

    • http://the818.com the818

       Right…like the sig sauer used on those babies. That legally purchased background checked gun definitely never made it into the wrong hands.

  • Solarvoltaic

    Guns are solely made to kill. Semi’s are made with the sole purpose of killing as many as possible in the shortest time. There is no reason for a wise and civilized society to avail its occupants, citizen and non-citizen alike, of such death weapons. Get rid of them NOW.

  • trueheart4life

    Thanks to the Klein Family for caring enough to invest in BMore and helping make the quality of life better in multiple ways.

  • JOYFULNOW

    Bravo MOE!!!! Yes, EVERYONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP & UNDERSTAND THE BAD GUYS,THE MENTALLY DISTURBED WILL ALWAYS FIND AWAY TO GET A GUN NO MATTER WHAT!!! EVIL WILL FIND A WAY TO DO EVIL PERIOD! GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM! PEOPLE WHO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE FILLED WITH EVIL/BAD/ANGER CONSTANT TURMOIL IN THERE HOMES THINKING IT DOES NOT AFFECT THEIR CHILDREN!  THEIR IS SO MUCH WISDOM IN THE BIBLE! IT SAYS “DO NOT PROVOKE YOUR CHILDREN TO ANGER!” ANOTHER WORDS LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY! CHILDREN/PEOPLE WHO HOLD ALL THEIR ANGER INSIDE INSTEAD OF GETTING HELP LIKE GOING TO A GOOD COUNSELOR OR PRAYING AND GIVING YOUR ANGER TO GOD SO HE CAN HELP YOU WORK THROUGH IT!!! AND HE WILL IF YOU JUST ASK!!! HOW ABOUT “MY(GODS) PEOPLE PERISH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE/WISDOM!!!” IN THESE TIMES, IN TODAY’S WORLD, IT IS NOT WISE TO GIVE UP YOUR GUNS!!! WE MUST REMEMBER WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILIES! DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR GUNS BE SURE THAT YOU KEEP YOURS IN A SAFE WITH A CODE YOUR CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW! WHAT IS GOING ON IN AMERICA?

  • JOYFULNOW

    Bravo MOE!!!! Yes, EVERYONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP & UNDERSTAND THE BAD GUYS,THE MENTALLY DISTURBED WILL ALWAYS FIND AWAY TO GET A GUN NO MATTER WHAT!!! EVIL WILL FIND A WAY TO DO EVIL PERIOD! GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM! PEOPLE WHO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE FILLED WITH EVIL/BAD/ANGER CONSTANT TURMOIL IN THERE HOMES THINKING IT DOES NOT AFFECT THEIR CHILDREN!  THEIR IS SO MUCH WISDOM IN THE BIBLE! IT SAYS “DO NOT PROVOKE YOUR CHILDREN TO ANGER!” ANOTHER WORDS LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY! CHILDREN/PEOPLE WHO HOLD ALL THEIR ANGER INSIDE INSTEAD OF GETTING HELP LIKE GOING TO A GOOD COUNSELOR OR PRAYING AND GIVING YOUR ANGER TO GOD SO HE CAN HELP YOU WORK THROUGH IT!!! AND HE WILL IF YOU JUST ASK!!! HOW ABOUT “MY(GODS) PEOPLE PERISH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE/WISDOM!!!” IN THESE TIMES, IN TODAY’S WORLD, IT IS NOT WISE TO GIVE UP YOUR GUNS!!! WE MUST REMEMBER WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILIES! DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR GUNS BE SURE THAT YOU KEEP YOURS IN A SAFE WITH A CODE YOUR CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW! WHAT IS GOING ON IN AMERICA?

  • discer

    Sadly, the guns turned in were, unless stolen from their owners, were unlikely to be involved in a shooting as these are not the people that use or collect guns. Per the media the Conneticut shooter had attempted to recently buy a hunting rifle but did not want to wait the 14 day period required by law. Obviously he found another source for a rifle. The weapons he actually used came from his household as his mother was a gun advocate. This kid had  no documented history of mental illness although many considered him a loner and socially isolated. Nothing makes the powerless feel  more powerful than a gun in their hand.

    Even if you are able to deny all menatlly unhealthy individuals legal access to guns there are many easy ways to circumvent the process. All you have to do is go to a gun show and buy from a collector. Gun collectors are not held to the same requirements as licensed gun dealers. You can walk up to a collector pay cash and walk out with a gun(s). No registration and no paperwork required. If that doesn’t scare you it should. Check out a recent documentary on cable called “Gunfight” It details the gun show loophole as well as straw purchases. What will it take to get some reasonable gun legislation passed in this country.

  • msbdenning

    Hey, the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter AND the shooter were formerly “law abiding citizens” and “responsible gun owners.”

    Making sure a gun you never use doesn’t get into the hands of the wrong person is a good thing, so kudos for this program.

  • ushanellore

    They’re  fragile the little children–USA Sandy Hook–2012

    For the right to bear arms they’ll die,
    they hold aloft their weapons,
    they cheer when they fire in ranges,
    they thrill when they hit bull’s eye,
    the noise– it reddens the sky.

    The animals– they scurry and hide–
    the children they huddle and cry–
    the children in pieces they lie–
    frangible glass on the ground.

    The mad men are out and about–
    enraged they are marginalized–
    no devils these men who are mad–
    no demons descended from afar–

    All of them shriveled and shy,
    bullied by the brittleness of life–
    they cower in their caves and plot–
    to avenge the bitterness wrought–
    in their narrow tunnels –they run
    their anxieties bubble and froth–
    in their brains the fever is hot–

    When they are overwrought–
    watch them reach for rifles-
    unlocked and ready to be cocked–
    the world recoils in shock–
    when triggers are held down as long–
    as it takes to sever– the bonds–
    of a mass of people–their souls
    on a river– maroon with the blood
    taken from their wounds–

    In numbers too many to count–
    meandering in search of solace–
    snuffed out by absolute strangers
    in movie theaters, museums and malls–
    in schools–the safest place– of all
    the places–in schools–
    how egregious that a shooter sought–
    tiny children to blow apart–

    They’re fragile–
    please handle them with care–
    cuddle them close in your arms–
    when nightmares recur in their sleep–
    and they are fleeing from monstrous storms-
    handle the children with care–
    such easy targets for harm–
    from men looking to unleash–
    the fury pent up in their hearts–

    A fury that will blow them apart
    unless it’s expelled–with shots–
    from the barrel ends of guns–
    the bullets barrel and whistle past–
    fast as missiles in space–
    the bullets emanate–
    through the barrel ends of guns–
    men have learned to communicate–

    There are wars afoot in the land–
    in the imagination of men–
    terror lays its cunning traps–
    fear enervates and saps–
    the energy– is drained from the land–
    when weapons are a source of comfort–
    when weapons are a source of pride–
    when weapons are as cherished as life–
    often even more than life–
    energy is drained from the land–

    It’s a child gone wild with a gun–
    it’s a woman asserting her power–
    it’s a man showing off his glock–
    it’s another ordering up a mountain
    of ammunition on line–

    It’s a lucrative business–death–
    its merchants are everywhere–
    purveyors of poisons galore–
    prosper on the hate of the land–

    We’re not afraid of the wolves–
    they have receded and dwindled
    in numbers–the lions too are no threats–
    the panthers, the tigers,
    the cheetahs, the elephants, the hippos–
    and the snakes that can kill us with their fangs–
    we don’t fear them as much as we fear–
    one of our own kind–

    Other humans are whom we fear–
    mirror images of our own selves,
    they’re the ones who can render us inert–
    faster than the sharks in the sea–
    surer than the mighty grizzly–

    So we arm ourselves to the teeth–
    we’ll kill before we are killed–
    we’ll kill one to save many–
    we’ll get the bad guys
    since we’re good–
    we’ll stand our ground and we’ll shoot–
    to demolish men who wear hoods–

    “If the lawful are not armed then the lawless
    will overrun the land–
    if the lawful are not strong–
    they’ll be crushed by a dictator’s hand–
    give every teacher a gun–
    recommend students should keep them in dorms–
    conceal, carry and swagger–
    if you no more feel like a man–
    a gun my friend is as potent–
    as Viagra for the morale–
    if you take away guns,
    you think men won’t kill anymore?
    they will kill with knives and with hands–
    with ropes and with automobiles–
    they will carry on–
    their killing sprees all over the land!”

    Spurious arguments abound!
    The air reverberates with their sound–

    Without firing a single shot
    Ghandhi–
    and Martin Luther King–
    made their points–
    fought their battles-
    and won their wars–
    but  their non violence
    answered with violence–
    by guns their lives were cut short. 

    I can hear them declare–
    their bare arms rippling with muscles–
    for their right to bear arms–
    those who’ll die–
    that Ghandhi and King were fools,
    they should have concealed
    and carried the tools
    indispensable to staying alive. 

    Loud and clear– their exhortation
    fills the crisp air,
    that we must hold on to our freedom–
    because our freedom is dear!

    What freedom do they speak of?
    The freedom to purchase rifles
    that can fire countless rounds–
    of bullets and pump them into tissues–
    to fragment folks to shards?

    O please!  Spare me!

    They’re fragile– the little children–
    handle them with care–

    Usha Nellore

     

     

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