ROCHESTER, NY (STL.News) — New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that 131 firearms were turned in to law enforcement at a gun buyback event held on Wednesday in Rochester. The event was hosted by the Office of the New York Attorney General and the City of Rochester’s Police Department, in conjunction with ROC the Peace. The Office of the New York Attorney General accepts — with no questions asked — working and non-working unloaded firearms in exchange for compensation on site.
“Unwanted, dangerous firearms have no place on our streets or in our homes, and certainly not in the wrong hands,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “My office remains committed to ensuring that New Yorkers feel safe in their communities and are protected from gun violence. We thank the City of Rochester’s Police Department for their continued partnership on this important program.”
“The Rochester Police Department appreciates the collaborative effort of working with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, our local clergy, along with community organizations similar to Roc-The-Peace on a successful gun buy back initiative,” said City of Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary. “With the gun buy back initiative being held on the same day as the National Day of Remembrance for Murdered Victims, lends itself to the notion that anytime we can remove a gun off of our streets, that is one less gun that could potentially be used to harm a citizen or a police officer. We can do it better, working together. We owe it to the families and the people of this community.”
The buyback resulted in 131 guns being turned in, including 50 handguns, 47 long guns, and 34 non-working or antique guns.
The Office of the New York Attorney General offers monetary compensation, in the form of prepaid gift cards, when a gun is received by law enforcement officers. Prepaid cards, with the appropriate amount, are issued after each unloaded gun is received and secured by the officers on-site.
The gun buyback program is entirely funded through criminal forfeiture funds that were seized from drug and gun traffickers by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force.
The Organized Crime Task Force has focused on taking gun traffickers off New York streets. The office developed Model Gun Show Procedures — a series of safety procedures for gun show operators in New York State — and announced new policies to help social media sites curb illegal sales of firearms on their platforms. In 2016, the Office of the New York Attorney General released a first-of-its-kind analysis of tens of thousands of “crime guns” recovered by law enforcement, illustrating gun trafficking trends that undermine New York’s sensible gun laws.