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New Yorkers turn in 45 guns at AG James’ Upstate gun buyback event

November 22, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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New Yorkers turned over 45 guns to the Attorney General’s Office during gun buyback event hosted by Attorney General Letitia James and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office this week.

Anyone who turned in a gun, no questions asked, were given a prepaid gift card for their effort. A total of 45 guns were turned over including one assault weapon, 20 handguns, 18 long guns, and six non-working guns.

“Getting guns off the streets and out of communities is a common-sense way to help protect New Yorkers from gun violence and save lives,” said Attorney General James. “Through our partnership with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, we successfully removed 45 guns from the city of Hudson and the surrounding communities.”

“In our ongoing efforts against gun violence, we held nine gun buybacks and took more than 1,000 guns out of neighborhoods throughout the state this past year,” James continued. “Public safety will always be our top priority, and my office will continue to leave no stone unturned in keeping New Yorkers safe.”

Since 2013, the AG’s Office has hosted gun buyback programs throughout NYS and has collected more than 5,700 guns overall. Just this year, James said she has held nine buyback programs which yielded over 1,000 guns. Since Letitia James has taken over the Office in 2019, the OAG has collected over 3,700 guns.

Since 2019, Letitia James’ office has purchased 3,700 from New Yorkers through gun buyback programs. Over the weekend, the OAG recovered 45 guns including an assault weapon and 20 handguns. Photo courtesy of the AG’s Office

“We believe today’s gun buyback event was a success,” said Columbia County Sheriff Donald Krapf. “The availability to drop off a firearm with no questions asked allows law enforcement to get guns off the street, get firearms that are in questionable condition turned in for destruction, and also affords the possibility of reuniting a stolen or lost firearm with the rightful owner. We look forward to continuing to keep our community safe and assist our citizens in any way we can.”

Members of the criminal justice community credit gun buyback programs in helping curb violence. When shootings increased in Brooklyn following the pandemic, attorney Arthur Aidala told the Brooklyn Eagle that one of the contributing reasons was that the District Attorney’s Offices in NYC had to cancel regular buyback programs.

One of the biggest reasons gun buyback programs can be effective is by preventing gun theft as stolen guns are often involved during the commission of violent crimes. According to the FBI, from the years 2012 to 2015, there were an estimated 1.2 million guns stolen in the United States.

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