Residents can voluntarily surrender old, unwanted guns, no questions asked.
It's the first time it's ever been done in Maryland on a statewide basis. On Saturday, May 11th, the first statewide gun turn in program will take place. "If people want to voluntarily remove firearms from their house--for whatever reason: they have somebody with mental health problems in the house; there's domestic violence issues in the house; whatever the case might be--grandpa left an old gun up in the attic--they should be able to return it, no questions asked, get it out of the house, and then it will be disposed of by law enforcement," says Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.
Gansler says his office has been working with local police agencies to come up with the plan. He says any gun will be accepted, even if it's not in working order.
When police get the firearms, they will process them through a database to determined if they've been reported stolen, or flagged as being used in the commission of a crime.
Gansler says it's very similar to local programs where police will come to the home and remove any unwanted guns. "Some jurisdictions, the police will come and remove the guns if requested. Other places do gun take back programs where a local company or a supermarket will give gift certificates for every gun, or a certain amount of money," Gansler says.
In Montgomery County on Saturday, sponsors will make a donation to Baltimore's Shock Trauma for every gun turned in, he says.
"Our goal is to provide a simple means for families to make their homes and communities safer," says Attorney General Gansler.
He says no matter how you feel about the gun issue, this is something where people on all sides of the debate can come to agreement. "A lot of people have very passionate views about guns, and that's understandable. But this is a program that's voluntary. Anybody, whatever side of the issue you might be, you might want to get rid of an old gun or remove a gun from the house, this is an opportunity to do that," says Gansler.
There are no locations in Frederick County where residents can drop off unwanted firearms, but they can take them outside of the county for disposal. One place is the Hagerstown Police Department at 50 North Burhans Boulevard from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM. They can also go to the State Police Barrack in Westminster at 1100 Baltimore Boulevard from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
In Montgomery County, citizens can take their unwanted guns to the Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg at 16 Chestnut Street from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, or the Public Safety Headquarters at 100 Edison Park Drive in Rockville from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.
Hagerstown Police urge you not to bring your guns into the department's lobby. Instead, leave them in the locked trunk of your vehicle, and notify the officer on duty that you have a firearm for gun turn in. The officer will escort you to your vehicle and take possession of the firearm in the parking lot.
Authorities say make sure the gun is unloaded and the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction.