Gun buyback program in the Bronx Saturday

The News Leader

June 5, 2011 6:36:21 AM PDT
Law enforcement and three Bronx churches joined forces to sponsor a gun buyback program for one day only on Saturday.

Participants in the gun buyback received a $200 pre-paid cash card for each eligible weapon that was surrendered, no questions asked, in the Bronx.

Three-hundred and fifty-four guns were surrendered in the cash-for-guns exchange, officials said. The weapons included one Uzi submachine gun, one Tec-9 and one Tec-22 semi-automatic, four AK-47 style assault weapons and six sawed-off shotguns among 161 revolvers, 112 semi-automatics, nine shotguns, 16 rifles, and 46 BB and zip guns.

"Programs like the gun buyback have real, quantifiable results," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "Since this program started in 2008, it has been responsible for taking over 6,000 guns off the street of the five boroughs. Our hope is that [the] gun buyback in the Bronx builds on this success and results in even more guns off the street, and more innocent lives saved."

Plainclothes NYPD officers, Bronx DA Detective Investigators and members of the NYPD Bronx DA Squad were on hand at the churches to accept the firearms that were surrendered. Participants were encouraged to bring the weapons in paper bags, plastic bags or shoe boxes.

Citizens who want to turn in weapons can do so anonymously at police stations citywide every day of the week and receive $100. In addition, the Department's Operation Gun Stop program (1-866-GUN-STOP) rewards individuals up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of an individual who is carrying, selling or using guns illegally.