Police and community leaders saw an uptick in the number of guns received by the gun buyback program this past weekend. Many of the people returning guns cited the shooting in Connecticut as the catalyst for wanting to rid their homes of weapons. More time is needed, however, to determine if the increase in returned weapons will have a lasting effect.
The city has been participating in a gun buyback program for over a decade. The program has had a successful legislative history and taken thousands of guns off of New York streets. Typically, the NYPD will partner with a church or school to set up a buyback location. Officers will be stationed there during a weekend at which time anyone can bring in a weapon, no questions asked, for a prepaid debit card loaded with $200, though the amount varies for the type and condition of the weapon.
Many people in line for the buyback program said the weapons had been collecting dust in their homes, a relic of New York’s more crime heavy days, and that the events in Connecticut made them act. Others said their fear of home invasion was not as strong as their concern that weapons could fall into their kids’ hands. Whatever the reason, the NYPD was pleased with the haul of weapons.