Gun Buyback Program Coming to Poughkeepsie
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Poughkeepsie as one of six locations across the state that will offer money to people who turn in guns.
The statewide program began Saturday in Rochester and will come to Poughkeepsie soon, though no date or location for it has been set. The program compensates people for turning in working and nonworking guns that are not loaded. Schneiderman said in a press release that the purpose of the program is to remove deadly firearms from places where they can be stolen or misused and to keep them out of the wrong hands.
“Every day my office fights to ensure all New Yorkers are safe and secure in their communities,” Schneiderman said. “Along with vigorously enforcing our state’s gun laws, I’m proud that my office has taken this additional step to stop the outbreak of gun violence that has plagued our communities.”
Poughkeepsie has seen its share of gun violence over the past year. Police said there have been nearly 30 shootings in 2013. Recently, police arrested four people and charged them all with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. A few days earlier, police responded to a call of a 25-year-old man who was shot in the leg. In the past month, police also reported the killing of a 20-year-old man by gunshot. In the middle of August, two shootings were reported in the city in a 12-hour period, and in July, police arrested a 34-year-old man in the shooting death of a 33-year-old woman in a deli on Academy Street.
Susan Morehouse of the Southwest Gun Buyback Committee said the buybacks are meant to control gun violence and to allow residents to take back their streets.
“I have seen too many people lose loved one to this epidemic, and we could no longer stand by and do nothing,” Morehouse said. “We thank Attorney General Schneiderman for his involvement in our buyback effort and for expanding the project to other cities across New York.”
During the buyback program, people will be paid with debit cards when they turn in a gun to law enforcement officers. Each gun turned in will be screened before any money is given out. Guns must be transported to their drop-off site unloaded and in plastic or paper bags or boxes.
Antique and nonworking firearms will net $25. People will be paid $50 for rifles and shotguns and $75 for handguns. Those turning in assault weapons will receive $100. Licensed gun dealers and active or retired law enforcement officers are not eligible for the program.
A similar event was held last week in Peekskill by its Police Department. During that buyback, 74 firearms were turned in, enough that the event ended early because the police ran out of money.
Other locations across the state that will hold gun buybacks are Binghamton, Utica, Yonkers and the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga.