They’re trying to make Brooklyn safer with fewer illegal guns on the streets.
On Sept. 12, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD hosted a gun buyback event at St. Paul Community Baptist Church, 59 Hendrix St. in East New York.
Gonzalez’s office and the NYPD offered $200 bank cards for each operable handgun or assault rifle turned in. Cards worth $25 were given to those who gave rifles, shotguns and air guns. All transactions were anonymous and no questions were asked.
The bank cards were given after each firearm was received and screened by officers on-site.
Unlimited numbers of guns were able to be turned in, but participants received a limit of $600 in bank cards.
During the event, 33 guns were turned in.
According to the New York Post, 2016 was the last time the NYPD held a cash for guns event in Brooklyn.
Gonzalez explained the importance of the day leading up to the event.
“As we stand up against an uptick in shootings throughout our city and in Brooklyn, we must employ every strategy and engage every part of our community,” he said.
During the event, he told reporters, “Guns in homes are very difficult to get rid of. I’ve spoken to many people who inherited guns from a loved one who passed on and they don’t know how to get rid of these guns. These guns have a way of leaving those homes. Sometimes they’re used for suicides, sometimes they’re used and found by children.”
“Every day, in all kinds of ways, our NYPD officers work tirelessly to prevent gun violence,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in a statement. “This buyback event with the community and our partners in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office represents one more effort to take guns, and the bullets in them, off of our city streets.”
Attendees gave unloaded and packaged guns in paper or plastic bags or boxes.
The event was also organized in partnership with Rev. David Brawley of East Brooklyn Congregations and the national community organizing network Metro IAF.
“We are pleased to work with Brooklyn DA Gonzalez and NYPD Commissioner Shea on this buyback effort,” Brawley said. “Every gun taken off the street is a gun that can’t do damage to our children and other residents. But we need to do more — identifying the mostly out-of-state gun dealers who supply these weapons in the first place and pressuring gun makers like Glock to cut off their ties to these dealers of neighborhood destruction.”
According to a spokesperson, additional buybacks are planned in the borough. However, no dates or venues have been announced.
The next Cash for Guns events is on Staten Island on Sept. 19 at Central Family Life Center, 59 Wright St.