Elgin police to hold voluntary gun turn-in program Saturday - KMSP-TV

Elgin police to hold voluntary gun turn-in program Saturday

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Elgin police aren't looking to take anyone's guns who wants them, said Lt. Jeff Adam, but they will give residents the opportunity to safely dispose of firearms they no longer want while learning more about gun safety with a first-ever gun turn-in event.

The "Lock-and-Drop" gun safety and turn-in event is set from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Elgin Police Department, 151 Douglas Ave., in the north first-floor conference room.

The Lock-and-Drop allows Elgin residents to drop off any unwanted, unloaded firearm and any ammunition with a police officer, no questions asked, he said.

"We are not trying to shove anything down anyone's throat," on the topic of gun ownership, he said. "If they want to discard their guns, or learn more about being a safe owner … we are offering both sides of the coin."

The event is not in response to last week's shooting death of a 19-year-old Elgin man, but in response to other incidents around the country, including the December Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn., he said.

Elgin police have dozens of guns turned in to police every year, Adam said.

"We get guns turned in pretty consistently, that is one of the reasons that we are doing this," Adam said.

When guns are turned in, police do a basic check to ensure the gun was not reported stolen.

The same response is intended for this event, Adam said.

"We will document the gun, just do a very brief check on the gun. We do not send it off to be test fired," or perform other tests, he said.

Police do ask that those turning in guns ensure the firearms are not loaded and bring it in either in a gun case or appropriate carrying devise. They do not want people walking into the station carrying open firearms, Adam said.

In addition to giving residents the opportunity to get rid of their guns, the event is designed to also teach owners how to be more responsible owners, Adam said.

Two, 30-minute gun safety clinics will be presented in conjunction with the Lock-and-Drop event — one in English at 1:30 p.m. followed by a 3:30 p.m. Spanish-language session.

Police officers also will be handing out a limited number of firearm locks on a first-come, first-served basis and answering questions relating to the educational and safety materials provided during the gun safety clinic.

"We are not forcing people to turn in the guns that they want; we are encouraging safe gun programs with the literature we are putting out," during the event, Adam said.

The city is not providing any compensation for the firearms or ammunition dropped off during the Lock-and-Drop event.

There was discussion about offering a cash incentive, but that idea was discarded, he said.

"If they don't have a need for the gun ... they wouldn't need a cash incentive to turn it in," Adam said.

Other weapons such as crossbows, bows and arrows and BB guns are not being accepted as part of the event, he said.

For more information, contact Adam at (847) 289-2531. Those speaking Spanish may contact Officer Eric Echevarria at (847) 354-3394.

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