More than 300 guns were pulverized at a recycling plant in Greenfield Friday morning. Rifles, shotguns and handguns were collected during the Valley Gun Buyback program held on Oct. 4.
Residents brought 160 guns to the collection site in Greenfield and 141 were collected in Northampton. Five of the guns were of such high historical value, they were donated to the Springfield Armory, according to Chris Geffin, director of programs for the Northwest District Attorney's Office Elders and People with Disabilities Unit. She said it was important to keep their promise that guns they received would never be able to be used again.
Friday they were fed through a massive crushing machine at WTE Recycling and turned to scrap. The pieces were then mixed with other metal scrap and dumped in a train car. A WTE spokesman said the car was headed to a foundry in Ohio where the scrap would be melted down to make ball bearings and automotive parts.
Several organizations participated in the first-ever event for the area. Greenfield police Chief Robert H. Haigh Jr. said he considered the event a success and would like to hold a similar event every year. He said a majority of the firearms turned in were rifles and shotguns, including one military style semi-automatic rifle. A few of the handguns were still in their original boxes and appeared to have never been fired. Haigh also stated if residents want to turn in a gun before then, they could call the police department to set up a time to collect the firearm.
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