Darien Officials Considering Gun Buyback Program

Darien Selectman David Bayne said even if the buyback program only yields a handful of weapons, it would be worth it.


In response to the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, town officials in Darien are exploring the possibility of hosting the town's first-ever gun buyback program.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson aired the proposal during Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting, following a discussion on school security.

Darien Police Chief Duane Lovello said he supported the idea of the police department organizing an event at which residents could have their guns — old, new, registered or otherwise — purchased for full value.

Stevenson said the town would need to fund the buyback, adding that it was unknown how many weapons would be turned in.

Selectman David Bayne said even if the buyback program only yields a handful of weapons, it would be worth it. He said while school shootings are rare, research shows that a high percentage of shootings during domestic incidents resulted simply because "a weapon happened to be there, in the house."

"Residents should at least know that if they have weapons they don't want or need… they can get rid of them," Bayne said.

Stevenson, who recently joined the gun control lobby group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said she was in support of stricter gun legislation, however she said she was somewhat unclear on which specific measures she would support due to conflicting information, for example, "how do you define what an assault weapon is?"

Bayne urged the board to adopt a blanket resolution indicating its support for "sensible gun legislation reform," however Stevenson said she was opposed to the idea, since the crafting of gun control legislation was not in board's purview.

Selectman John Lundeen said he too wanted to see the board adopt a resolution representing its stance on the issue.

"I see no harm in the board making a unified statement… on the little bit we agree on…," Lundeen said.

Bayne said even though the state General Assembly in Hartford and Congress were working on their own legislation, he saw no reason why local municipalities couldn't lend their voices in support of stricter gun control.

"I think all 169 towns in Connecticut should do it," he said, adding "this debate, after all, is raging on in Washington and Hartford…"

Stevenson countered that in her view the board was stepping into something that was outside of its role. "We have to know what we're talking about before we adopt a statement like that," she said.

Stevenson said she was open to discussing the proposal further, "in about a month," and said she would get it on the board's agenda.

victor January 10, 2013 at 03:54 PM
David - Let's not follow along like sheeple, please. The soundbites out of DC are meaningless right now and it does no service to our town if we just parrot them locally. Legislation will and should address this issue comprehensively after careful consideration at the state and federal levels. We don't need our town to buy back whatever unwanted weapons at a premium - responsible owners can sell them in the open market at fair value if they choose. A phone call to a dealer would give them the advise they need to accomplish this legally, I would think.
Bren Jacobsen January 10, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Let's do it. To quote another reader "we all have the blood of Sandy Hook on our hands." Time to change the tide, send a new message locally and beyond CT, one of action. Intimidation by the NRA will no longer be tolerated. We are all about to teeter off a cliff with all the guns we have in this country. I applaud D. Bayne and the Darien police for encouraging this endeavor.
Ksmithee January 10, 2013 at 04:55 PM
"Darien Selectman David Bayne said even if the buyback program only yields a handful of weapons, it would be worth it." ...."I think all 169 towns in Connecticut should do it," he said, adding "this debate, after all, is raging on in Washington and Hartford…" Does Bayne really want to in effective disarm law abiding citizens eventually in hopes of instituting a gun free zone in Darien and the entire state of CT? How about just put the welcome mat out to criminals and the mentally ill to come rob and kill our citizens that HAVE a Constitutional right to bear arms. Disarm them first before you come after or bully any legal law abiding gun owners. Chicago is a "gun free" zone & we know how is that working out.
Mark Bishop January 10, 2013 at 05:15 PM
For First Selectman Jayme Stevenson's edification, the reason that she has trouble determining what an "assault weapon" is, is because that they do not exist. It is merely a political term used to confuse and scare people. An "assault rifle" is easily definable. It's usually a carbine-length rifle capable of full-automatic and semi-automatic function (select fire, is the term), and fires an low to intermediate powered cartridge. And select-fire weapons have been explicitly banned in CT for decades. If your rifle only fires full-auto, it is legally a machine gun. If it fires only semi-automatic, it is a semi-auto sporting rifle. If you have a firearm that does not have the capability to fire full auto or burst, you simply have a semi-automatic rifle. It may have a passing resemblance to a military rifle, but it most assuredly is not one. There is no such thing as an "assault pistol", either. Firearms that may look that way are either simply semi-automatic pistols, or submachine guns - "sub"machinegun because it fires a pistol, rather than rifle cartridge, and a "pistol" because it had less than a 16 inch long barrel. A few variations of this may come in under SBR (short-barrelled rifle) regulations, but anything full-auto is well regulated Federally since 1934, and regulated by the State of CT as well. So how do you define an "assault weapon"? The same way you define a boogyman, bugbear or hobgoblin. They are all mythical creatures designed to scare you.
Concerned Mom January 10, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Are you kidding me? We can't find enough money in our town budget to fund mental health professionals and counselors in the schools, but we can buy back legally owned guns from law abiding citizens at a premium? Is this the best use of town money? I don't think knee-jerk responses do us any good and will certainly not solve the larger issue.
Chandra Johnson Greene January 10, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Marc Bisaha posted the following comment on Darien Patch's Facebook page: "Purchased for full value"? Actual Fjestad's Blue Book value? Current post-hysteria mark-up value? This could wind up costing Darien dearly! I guess grocery-store gift cards or a new pair of sneakers really doesn't fly in Darien, huh? Not that it should."
victor January 10, 2013 at 08:17 PM
No we don't have the blood of Sandy Hook on our hands - no one should presume to speak for anyone else, please. The kid's mother knew he had problems, yet she owned many weapons. That responsibility was her's and the boy's father alone. I acknowledge the challenges inherent in raising a child alone and especially one with a disability or social / mental issues, but to assume blame in the instance of the Sandy Hook tragedy is gratuitous when done for all of us. I accept no blame, but certainly would if he was my son.
Angie S. January 10, 2013 at 08:41 PM
"Stevenson countered that in her view the board was stepping into something that was outside of its role. "We have to know what we're talking about before we adopt a statement like that," she said." Wow...I have finally found an example of a liberal who actually has enough humility to not presume to know-it-all! She just earned a bit of respect in my book (despite our differences of opinion). Too many liberals, especially politicians, speaking in favor of stricter gun control measures seem to be people who haven't bothered to do any real research on a complicated and complex subject or bothered to acquire any real technical knowledge on firearms. (Thank you, Mark Bishop, for attempting to enlighten the populace just a little bit. :-) )
Jean D. January 10, 2013 at 09:38 PM
How about you liberal ACLU followers putting the nuts in the nut houses where they belong? BLOOD on YOUR HANDS....!
John January 10, 2013 at 11:51 PM
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Allow all guns, just have the police departments sell all the ammo; similar to a pharmacy, except the over the counter small stuff. Can anyone tell me why this would not work?????????????
Bren Jacobsen January 11, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Like this idea
Kybrdplyr January 11, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Your last line was too good to ignore: I looked up the term "assault weapon" and actually it is an accepted term, used since 1973, to describe any number of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. While I appreciate your explanation and believe such clarifications are sorely needed, what you describe would come under the definition of "assault weapon" according to Merriam Websters, Wikipedia, and the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 2004. While the boogyman, bugbear or hobgoblin do not scare me, these weapons, capable of and used for the taking of human life, do.
Kybrdplyr January 11, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Who, exactly, is a "nut"? What is a "nut house?" If you are referring to people who are mentally ill, that would require the evaluation of the entire population of gun owners and buyers using what to determine if the person is "nuts" or not? When you walk down the street, do you know who the 1 in 5 are who are mentally ill? The 30% of all Americans who suffer from mental illness? How about diabetes? Heart disease? These last two examples don't qualify as "nuts"? Then why does the disease of the brain, very much a part of your body and mine, qualify as "nuts" as opposed to mentally ill?
Cath January 11, 2013 at 11:22 PM
The police selling ammo would still be controlling my 2nd amendment right to rise up and protect our citizens when the wrong person is put into power and wants to do horrible things-nazi Germany anyone? I would prefer to live in the land of the free- not the land of the controlled.
Thomas Crafts January 12, 2013 at 01:45 AM
"Sturmgewehr" or storm rifle was coined by Adolph Hitler at the end of WWII. Capable of full auto and burst fire, not just a semi auto. Buyback a stupid knee jerk feel good reaction to a complex problem that won't be easilly solved.
John January 12, 2013 at 02:19 AM
I see your point Cath,,,,we could be dumb enought to bring in another Bush and Chaney.....but I wonder why you pay your taxes and register your car
Steve January 12, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Why waste tax dollars on a gun buyback? Studies show they are ineffective (link to one below). However, fee free to raise private money, just don't delude yourself that they're effective. Why not encourage people to drive right up to Bob's Guns & sell or put on consignment any firearms they no longer want? That's what they're in business for. One thing that MAIG is famous for is how at least 11 of its members have been prosecuted for corruption since its inception. What a great group of people to associate with. Mayor Bloomberg wishes to be a government nanny while he surrounds himself with armed security. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10881&page=95 http://www.stopillegalmayors.com/
Steve January 12, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Clearly your knowledge about firearms & their use is limited. Are you suggesting that this is limited to Darien, the state of CT or the entire country? Any local or state option could be easily circumvented by purchasing elsewhere. Are the police going to search every car traveling over the state or town border? You wish to take a product that is sold through the free market & turn it into a massive government program staffed by well paid government employees? Do you know that competitive shooters can go through 100,000 rounds of ammunition per year? They buy in bulk or even reload themselves. Perhaps you wish to be like Mexico where there is a single gun store in the entire country controlled by the military. How's that working out for them? Do you think guns & ammunition can't be smuggled over the border like drugs? How effective has prohibition been to keep drugs & alcohol out of the hands of kids & adults? Finally, some general statistics. According to what I've read, 80% of people convicted of murder already have a criminal record while 50% of their victims also do. Criminals are not going to be concerned about following the laws & it should also indicate that the problem we have is with drugs, gangs & our violent culture. Stop blaming the tools & start to consider whether we need to reconsider our war on drugs.


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