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NY Gun buyback program nets 235 firearms

Guns at a New Jersey gun buyback event. (NJ Advance Media/TNS)
May 01, 2023

A gun buyback program conducted Saturday, April 29, in the city netted 235 firearms, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced Sunday.

The event was hosted by the Kingston Police Department, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

The weapons turned in at the no-questions-asked event held at the American Legion Post at 18 W. O’Reilly St., included 15 assault rifles, 120 handguns and 60 long guns, Attorney General Letitia James said in a press release.

The figure nearly quadrupled the number of guns collected at last year’s event, which saw 60 firearms turned in. In 2021, the Kingston Police Department held a similar event that exchanged Hannaford gift cards for firearms, collecting 79 guns.

It was one of nine events held simultaneously statewide Saturday, netting more than 3,000 firearms, including 185 assault rifles, 1,656 handguns, and 823 long guns, according to James. Her office said 751 guns were collected in Syracuse in Onondaga County, 340 in Johnson City in Broome County and 70 in the Bronx.

Rewards were offered to all who brought in a firearm. Assault rifles and ghost guns were able to be turned in for a $500 reward, handguns for $500 and $150 for each that followed, $75 for rifles and shotguns, and $25 for non-working, replica, antique, homemade and 3D-printed firearms.

“Gun violence has caused so many avoidable tragedies and robbed us of so many innocent New Yorkers,” James said in a prepared statement. “Through our partnership with local law enforcement and public officials, we were able to organize this historic, single-day gun buyback event in nine locations throughout New York state.

“Every gun that we removed out of Kingston homes and off the streets is a potential tragedy averted and another step in protecting communities throughout New York state,” James added.

lster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa said in a statement, “I want to thank the Attorney General, the City of Kingston Police Department, and our community leaders in their effort to get guns off the streets. Gun buyback programs are paired with gun safety in an effort to reduce the illegal use of guns.”

Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti thanked the AG’s office for hosting the program. “As police officers, we see firsthand the impact that programs like the Gun Buyback can have locally in crime reduction.”


(c) 2023 Daily Freeman

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