ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — In all, 236 functional firearms were collected by the Arlington Heights Police Department during its inaugural Gun Buy-Back program event Saturday as part of Zero Harm. The free event, which also included other services like a drug take-back, child safety seat inspections, bicycle safety, impaired driving and behavioral health education, took place at St. Simon’s Episcopal Church, 717 W. Kirchoff Road.
“The vast number of those participating have been holding onto these weapons with no way of properly disposing of them,” Arlington Heights Police Chief Nicholas A. Pecora, Jr. in a news release. “These unwanted weapons present a potential harm to the community, whether unintentionally accessed by someone or potentially stolen and subsequently used in the commission of a criminal act.”
The public was invited to bring in and surrender any unwanted firearms for disposal, no questions asked, with an incentive of a $100 cash exchange for each functional gun turned into police. Organizers said that for the first two hours of the event, a line of cars extended from the parking lot collection point onto Kirchoff Road.
In addition, dozens of unwanted boxes of ammunition were also collected.
“We were pleasantly surprised by such a significant turnout during the event, and each $100 bill handed out could very well represent a life saved in the future,” Pecora said. “In my opinion, it is money well spent. This collaboration serves as a fine example of public, private and faith-based partners working together for the betterment of the communities we collectively serve.”
Staff and volunteers from Northwest Community Hospital, St. Simon’s Episcopal Church and local police departments, including Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Rolling Meadows, all participated.
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