More than 3,000 guns turned in during New York's first state-wide buyback
Syracuse was one of nine sites in New York to participate in a gun buyback event this weekend. More than 700 guns were turned in in Syracuse — the most in the Office of the Attorney General's history.
“Gun violence has caused so many avoidable tragedies and robbed us of so many innocent New Yorkers,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “Through our partnership with local law enforcement and public officials, we were able to organize this historic, single-day gun buyback event in nine locations throughout New York state. Every gun that we removed out of Syracuse homes and off the streets is a potential tragedy averted and another step in protecting communities throughout New York state.”
751 guns were turned in in Syracuse, including 36 assault rifles, 447 handguns, and 215 long guns.
Sgt. Thomas Blake, a spokesperson for the Syracuse Police Department, said the department was pleased with the turnout.
"For each one of those that's one less gun that we have out on the street that's available for somebody that might want to utilize those in a criminal manner," Blake said.
Blake said they understand someone engaging in criminal activity is unlikely to turn weapons in.
"We're just hoping that holding these events will result in less opportunity for folks that might want to use these weapons, in an illegal fashion to be able to obtain them," Blake said. "I think anytime there is a initiative like this where we can get out and do that, all agencies take advantage of it and do their part to reduce the number of guns that are out there on the street."
Blake said the department keeps the guns for a period of time to make sure they weren't used in a crime or turned in without the consent of the owner. Then they are destroyed.
"It's part of the requirement that the guns that are recovered, they're not put back out there," Blake said. "They're not sold. They're not transferred. Each and every one of them that gets turned in will be destroyed at some point."
In total more than 3,000 guns were turned in statewide on Saturday.
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