In response to calls from residents and in an effort to reduce the number of dangerous weapons in the community following the Newtown school massacre, Police Chief Gary MacNamara said the department will accept unwanted guns and ammunition from the public as of this week.

This is not a "buy-back" program, he said, like the program taking place in Bridgeport, since people will not be compensated for any guns they turn in to Fairfield police.

The collection, however, is "an opportunity for people to bring in weapons they no longer want," MacNamara said.

All weapons that are turned in will be destroyed.

Firearms must be unloaded and sealed in a plastic bag or gun case, and that plastic bag or gun case should be inside another bag, MacNamara said.

Ammunition should be packaged separately, and large amounts should be left outside the building for an officer to retrieve.

MacNamara said if a resident has a large amount of firearms, they can call the Police Department and an officer will come to their home to collect the weapons.

Any explosive devices, such as live souvenir grenades, should not be brought to police headquarters. In that case, the resident should call the department.

Weapons can be turned in at any time at Police Department headquarters, 100 Reef Road, but officials prefer they be brought in during regular business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For information, call 203-254-4808.