Over the weekend, New Yorkers participated in a statewide, no-questions-asked “landmark event” arranged by the attorney general’s office in which they turned up hundreds of weapons in return for gift cards ranging in value from $25 to $500.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said more than 3,000 firearms were turned in at nine different buyback sites around the state. Law enforcement did not ask those turning up their guns for identifying information, such as names, addresses, or proof of ownership.
In exchange for surrendering their weapons, gun owners were given gift cards for $500. Gift cards for $150 were given out for each additional firearm turned up. For inoperable, vintage, replica rifles and shotguns, or 3-D printed guns, participants earned $25 and $75 gift cards, respectively.
New York City residents allegedly turned in seven hundred fifty-one weapons.
James remarked that removing these firearms from Syracuse households and the streets was a step toward safeguarding communities throughout New York state.
At a press conference, the mayor of Syracuse, Ben Walsh, pinned the increase in crime on the increased availability of firearms but not the overabundance of his citizens willing to murder.
Walsh said that 76 firearms were confiscated from the community by law enforcement this year, up from 55 in the same period in 2022.
According to him, almost 90% of firearms collected by law enforcement come from other states.
Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez told local media that the police obtained 90 firearms.
Residents’ weapons were also seized at other locations in the Bronx.
St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in Niagara Falls got 505 firearms in three hours. According to reports, a retired police officer from Newfane, Arnie Jonathan, traded his father’s rifle there.
Jonathan said those who gave up their guns probably wouldn’t use them for violence.
Why would a criminal turn in their tool of trade for 500 bucks?