Saturday, just by coincidence and less than a mile from where the veteran cop was gunned down, the NYPD held one of its gun buy-back programs.
Anyone could turn in a gun with no questions asked.
182 weapons were turned in.
A complete breakdown of the firearms that were surrendered today is as follows:
58 Semi-automatic handguns
1 sawed-off shotgun
2 assault weapons
14 others (zip guns/BBs/starters)
Since its inception in July 2008 the NYPD/Clergy Gun Buy-Back program has taken over 7,300 weapons off the Streets.
The gun buyback was held at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Cypress Hills and was planned long before the recent tragic killing of an NYPD officer not far from there.
Many people concerned over the shooting believe it might be what is needed to get the guns off these streets.
All sorts powerful handguns, small pistols, even long rifles were brought to the buy-back.
"Whether the handgun is legally and lawfully registered or illegal it will be received by the NYPD with no questions asked," said Erik Dilan, a New York City Councilman.
Those who brought in guns received a $200 bank card per gun or a $20 bank card for any shotgun or rifle.
Not far from the buy-back is the place where Officer Peter Figoski, a 22-year veteran was killed, police say, with a stolen 9mm handgun.
It's the type of gun they want to get off the streets
Mayor Bloomberg, during his radio show, even challenged federal lawmakers to join him at Officer Figoski's funeral.
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if finally they got some understanding, in memory of this officer, we can't bring him back, but we will make sure his kids and parents are protected by getting guns off the streets and out of illegal hands," Mayor Bloomberg said.
"People are very devastated by the shooting of the officer, people are devastated by violence and maybe this is affecting their hearts and saying it's time to get rid of that gun," Bishop Benke said.
Community activist George Rodriguez thinks the program's success may also be driven by the spirit of the season.
"Actually helps a lot of people for the holidays. Christmas is just around the corner. People need extra money for gifts. We know how hard the times are," Rodriguez said.
The buy-back was held at St. Peters Lutheran Church, 105 Higland Place in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.
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