A Rochester gun buyback at a church Tuesday left authorities with more than 100 unwanted firearms. The no-questions-asked event was hosted by New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office and the Rochester Police Department. It brought in 128 guns, including three assault rifles, 60 handguns, 29 rifles, 19 shotguns – two of which were sawed off – and 17 non-working weapons. Participants received gift cards ranging from $25 to $100 in exchange for their unwanted guns. Free gun locks were also passed out.
Ted O’Brien, head of the Regional Office for the Attorney General, said the buybacks are a good way for people to get rid of not only unwanted gun, but illegal guns as well. “They’re not the licensed permit holder, and they don’t know what to do. And they’re nervous about it,” O’Brien said. “This is an affordable opportunity to come, present your guns, no questions asked, and sometimes people know they have an illegal gun and they want to dispose of it, this is also an amnesty program. No questions asked, hand those guns in and we get them off the street that way.”
O’Brien acknowledged that such events are open for debate, but said any number of unwanted guns off of the streets is a step in the right direction. “We know that those guns are not going to be involved in crimes, now. So the more guns we get off the street, hopefully that’s one component of an overall gun violence strategy,” he said. More than 1,500 firearms have been turned in statewide during buyback events over the last four years.
[ WXXI News ]