Until a few weeks ago, Malden had never hosted a gun buyback. That changed on October 5th, when MHS students collaborated with Malden Police officers to host the buyback. The event ran from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM with more than 40 firearms collected. It was an event of great importance that highly benefited all of those involved.
In Massachusetts, unlike the majority of states, a gun license is required to purchase a gun, similar to New York and Illinois. The process to acquire a gun is very long, however. The minimum required age is 15. You must renew your license every six years, and if you don’t your gun can be taken away. One is allowed to carry a loaded or unloaded gun in their vehicle as long as it is under your jurisdiction. However, if it is not under your control or left unattended, it must be in a locked case or trunk and unloaded. Guns at home must also be in a locked container or equipped with a safety device, unless it is a primitive firearm.
The purpose of a gun buyback program is to buy firearms so that there are less guns owned by civilians. They are usually hosted by the police. It allows citizens to sell their firearms to the government without risk of being prosecuted and also just to get rid of them easier. In Massachusetts, you need a license to sell a gun, and the buyer must have already gone through the entire process mentioned above. The convenience of the buyback is one of the factors that allows all parties to benefit greatly in the process.
According to Sophomore Ketshaly Philome “[The students] as a group just organized it with the help of some MHS staff members and the Malden Police Chief, Kevin Molis.” Philome added that “The inspiration for this cause was our loved ones, our friends and our community. [She] saw that gun violence was an issue in our country that [was not] largely addressed enough in our community. “ She further elaborated that collaborating with the officers helped them “learn a lot about the perspective of an officer.” She finally stated that “[they] got to talk to the people of [their] community and hear their stories about where the guns came from and why they came to the gun buy backs.”
Overall, the event was very successful as it managed to achieve its goal in removing as many dangerous weapons as possible from the community, and making Malden a safer community.