The following is a letter sent from Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Police Commissioner William B. Evans to the city’s 8,000 registered gun owners.
In addition to reminding gun owners to secure their firearms, the authorities tout their gun buyback program called “Your Piece for Peace,” which promises to give a $200 gift card to anyone who turns in a firearm.
Last year, the “Your Piece for Peace” recovered a total of one unwanted firearm.
We write today to ask for your continued assistance in our effort to reduce illegal gun crime in the City of Boston. Police serve an important role in reducing gun crime, but more can be done with your help.
As a legal gun owner, it is important that you also do your part to ensure that guns are stored safely, and kept out of the hands of children and criminals.
As we are sure you are aware, there were some very important changes to the gun laws in Massachusetts last year. As partners in keeping the neighborhoods safe we want to bring to your attention your obligations as a gun owner, and ask for your cooperation in keeping guns in the hands of only those legally authorized to carry them.
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140, should you decide to sell or transfer your gun, you must receive approval of the sale / transfer through a web portal developed by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services. You can access the Massachusetts Gun Transaction Portal at mass.gov/eopss/firearms-reg-and-laws/frb. The portal will, among other things, verify the identity of both buyer and seller, and ensure the sale/transfer complies with the law. Please ensure that these simple steps are followed when transferring a firearm so that all guns are properly accounted for. Additionally, the law mandates reporting to both local law enforcement and the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services when a legal gun is lost or stolen, and the law has increased the criminal penalties for failure to report a lost or stolen gun. All lost or stolen guns must be reported through the portal, and a report must be filed with the Boston Police Department.
To assist you in better securing your gun(s), we are also offering you a free gunlock, or locks depending on how many guns you may have. If you would like a gunlock or advice on proper on storage of guns and / or ammunition, please call the Boston Police Department’s Licensing Division at (617) 343-4425.
Additionally, the Department has recently re-launched the “Your Piece for Peace” gun buyback program. If you need to dispose of a firearm, you can do so safely and confidentially at any district station, and receive a $200 gift card. For more information on this important program, please see the enclosed informational pamphlet.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation with this vital mission. It’s with your partnership we can together continue to prevent gun violence in the City of Boston.