Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

Patch: “120 Guns Turned In During Westchester Buyback”

April 16, 2018

As published by The White Plains Patch, on April 13, 2018.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that 120 firearms were turned into law enforcement at his office’s gun buyback event Friday in White Plains. Since the Attorney General launched his statewide gun buyback program in 2013, the office has now collected nearly 1,700 firearms across New York.

The Friday buyback was co-sponsored by the Westchester County Executive’s Office, the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, and the City of White Plains Department of Public Safety.

“Gun violence is one of the biggest public health crises we face. Unwanted, forgotten, and neglected guns can quickly become dangerous, endangering our children, our families, and our law enforcement officers,” said Schneiderman said in the announcement. “These buybacks mean less guns in our homes and on our streets – part of our broader efforts to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence. Government has a fundamental responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our children and our communities from these entirely predictable and preventable tragedies. We’ll continue to do everything we can here in New York while fighting for the federal action we need to keep our communities safe.”

The Attorney General’s office offers money in the form of gift cards when a gun is received by law enforcement officers. Gift cards with the appropriate amount are issued after each unloaded gun is received and secured by the officers on-site. Free gun locks were also made available for attendees of the gun buyback.
The program is entirely funded through criminal forfeiture funds that were seized from drug and gun traffickers by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force.

Today’s gun buyback resulted in 120 guns being turned in. That number includes 3 assault weapons; 44 handguns; 40 rifles; and 33 non-working or antique guns.

The statewide gun buyback program is part of Schneiderman’s broader efforts to keep New Yorkers safe from gun violence.

The Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force has focused on taking violent gun traffickers off New York streets. Schneiderman developed Model Gun Show Procedures, a series of safety procedures for gun show operators in New York State, and announced new policies to help social media sites curb illegal sales of firearms on their platforms. In 2016, the Attorney General released a first-of-its-kind analysis of tens of thousands of “crime guns” recovered by law enforcement, illustrating gun trafficking trends that undermine New York’s sensible laws. Schneiderman has also been fighting for common sense gun laws in New York and on the federal level.

“Gun violence is an epidemic and a public health crisis,” said State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. The Westchester lawmaker is the highest ranked woman in the legislature. “Programs like the Attorney General’s gun buyback initiative are essential to efforts to implement common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence and save lives. Studies have proven that states with stronger firearm safety laws and programs have fewer gun-related deaths than states that lack these basic regulations. I envision a world in which are all safe from gun violence, and I will continue to work alongside my partners in government to realize this vision.”

The event was held at Mount Hope AME Zion Church.

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach said thanked Rev. Gregory Smith for hosting it. “AG Schneiderman and Rev. Smith understand the importance getting guns off the street, reducing accessibility to guns, and decreasing gun violence. This program represents just one avenue that we are using to pursue these goals.”

Smith said, “This is an important moment in our communities. Gun violence is out of control. We are a nation at domestic war, killing each other, destroying families and communities. This effort is but one small step. But it’s better to light one candle than curse darkness. We must press on and on and on.”