Fairfax Staff Organizing Gun Turn-In Days

Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova wants county's gun turn-in service better publicized.

After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month, Fairfax County officials are looking into hosting events for residents to hand over unwanted guns for destruction.

Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, asked staff during the Board’s meeting Tuesday to publicize more heavily the county’s existing gun turn-in service so residents might be encouraged to get rid of their firearms.

“Many residents have contacted my office to voice concern regarding guns,” Bulova said. “Most residents do not realize that Fairfax County provides a voluntary gun turn-in service.”

Unwanted or unneeded firearms and ammunition can be turned into the Fairfax County Police Department. David Rohrer, deputy county executive for public safety, told supervisors all guns turned over to the police department are then destroyed.

Rohrer said the department had seen residents hand over a variety of weapons over the years, including antique rifles and even a cannonball, as well as handguns.

The number of guns turned in last year was not readily available.

“I do think it’s important to raise awareness,” Rohrer said.

Supervisor Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) recommended the county host an annual or biannual gun turn-in days, events that could be publicized sponsored by the county in order to increase participation and awareness.

“It encourages people to really do it,” Hyland said. “You might find that more people would participate.”

Bulova instructed the police department’s public information office to work with the county’s office of public affairs on the possibility of organizing such an event.

“If residents do choose to own guns in their homes, safe handling and storage is paramount to prevent accidents,” Bulova said in a statement. “The County should make it as easy as possible for residents to voluntarily turn over unwanted weapons.”

Janaye M Lawson January 11, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Fairfax county COULD require Stop-smoking classes for Employees, and Fairfax Staff Organizing Gun Turn-In Days...... is this Nazi Germany? What is going on in our society. Virginia grew and sold tobacca and made a great deal of money off of tobacca, now there's a big rush to FORCE people to stop using it.. and wanting people to turn over weapons. If you don't want a gun, sell it to a responsible gun owner, classes should be required for anyone owning weapons, , there are people that are gonna kill with guns,they are not responsible gun owners, they are mental and should not have access to any weapons, don't blame those who are reponsible, enforce laws that are already on the books for those that break them...instead on making deals with these idiots!!
EL January 11, 2013 at 06:42 PM
The purpose of the trade in is for people who no longer want their firearms, but want a safe way to dispose of them. Nobody is forcing anyone to give up weapons, this isn't a sword ban. Characterizing an event for people to voluntarily hand over firearms they no longer want or need, as comparable Nazi Germany, is a gross exaggeration. As a gun owner myself, I encourage people who do not feel comfortable with firearms in their home to dispose of them of them safely. Since not everybody knows a responsible gun owner, or would know how to determine if somebody is one, being able to hand over their firearms to the authorities sounds like a reasonable idea.
Carol Lewis January 11, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Thank you, EL. I agree and I have a problem with people who make comparisons with things happening here to Nazi Germany. They probably have no idea how what went on there is not even close to this. And no one is taking guns away from responsible owners, although I don't know why anyone needs 10 bullets or an assault rifle. I also don't think Fairfax County is forcing people to quit smoking but it is in the interest of all county employees to do so, so if offering/making mandatory smoking cessation classes will help, all to the good. Lastly, I don't think the fact that we used to and still do grow tobacco here is a good reason to keep on smoking.
Mary S. January 11, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Thank you EL. No one wants to take anyone's gun away from them. I think some folks are getting paranoid out there listening to too much Alex Jones of the world. You can keep your guns...we just don't need more and if folks don't need them anymore why keep them around.
Willoughby January 11, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Times are tough. Anyone who wants to safely get rid of their firearm could probably get better compensation selling to the local firearms shop than giving it to the local police for destruction.
This isn't the 1800s January 11, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Your point on the history of tobacco is what? Virginia also raised and sold people as slaves. Times change.
Val Jean January 12, 2013 at 03:53 AM
This turn-in program would make sense if the county inspected the firearms that were turned in and then resold them. With Obama/Biden threatening to take away firearms, the prices have skyrocketed and many of us can no longer afford to buy them. The county could make a little money by selling the turned-in firearms to those who qualify for free/reduced lunches, or those in subsidized housing. Or maybe give them to school administrators along with appropriate training. As we have learned from recent sad experiences, the only effective defense against a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun and the training to use it properly.
Carol Lewis January 12, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Val Jean, Obama/Biden are not threatening to take away all firearms! Please, get over that. If people want to turn them in, that's their choice. More guns is not the solution. There is no guarantee that the good guy with the gun will be at the place he/she is needed if a killer goes on a rampage. Witness Columbine and Va Tech. We are not taking away guns, we are trying to find a solution for good gun safety, from various angles.
John January 14, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Right on. Will the Police buy my unwanted car?
John January 14, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Driver Ed - Privilege Firearm Ed - Right Why not in Public Schools? Education is key - teaching respect and safety of firearms are part of the solution.


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