FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) — Maine residents have turned in dozens of unwanted guns in a gun donation program that raises money for a charitable cause.
A total of 68 guns and bags of ammunition were turned in at Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth police departments and the state police barracks in Gray on Saturday.
The guns will be sold and the proceeds donated to Special Olympics Maine.
The event was organized to help reluctant gun owners, such as hunters’ widows, who don’t know what to do with the weapons, the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/XwRG71) reported.
The program was a success, said Maine State Police Sgt. Michael Edes, who said more than two dozen people expressed relief when they dropped off donations in Gray.
‘‘This is exactly what we aimed for, no pun intended,’’ Edes said.
Robert Chamberlain of Yarmouth donated a single-barrel shotgun that his son used to use for rabbit and bird hunting and an antique .32-caliber pistol his family has had for years.
‘‘I was thinking about getting rid of them and then this program came on and it sounded pretty good,’’ he said.
A number of the donations were quite valuable, including a World War II-era rifle, a pearl-handled revolver and 100-year-old single-barrel shotgun, Edes said.
Guns that are no longer usable will be chopped up, Edes told the Portland Press Herald. The ammunition will be burned in a special burn tank operated by the State Police Bomb Squad and the shells and lead will be recycled, he said.
Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com