Courtesy of the Office of Attorney General James
Feb 1, 2021
Gun buyback event gets 48 weapons off the streets in Brooklyn
The Brownsville program asked residents to turn in guns in exchange for iPads and gift cards in the face of rising shooting rates
Forty-eight guns were taken off Brooklyn’s streets on Saturday in a gun buyback event in Brownsville. The no-questions-asked program asked residents to turn in guns in exchange for iPads and gift cards, in an effort to reduce the presence of illegal firearms in Brooklyn.
The event was organized by Attorney General Letitia James, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and the New York City Police Department in response to record-high levels of gun violence in 2020. There were recorded 1,531 shootings last year across the city, up from 777 in 2019. Brooklyn shooting incidents rose a shocking 127 percent and murder rates were up 70 percent in 2020—numbers not seen in a decade, according to Kings County Politics.
“If it’s just one gun, it’s one gun off the streets, one gun that can result in carnage, one gun that can result in the deaths of multiple individuals,” said Attorney General James in a press conference at the event. “I’m really not focused on the number, I’m really focused on the fact that we are able to recover guns and we’re going to keep this community safe.”
Since 2013, gun buyback programs have collected over 2,750 firearms. Reducing guns through buyback programs can help prevent crime, suicides, and accidental deaths, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez.
“Our community is looking for answers to gun violence. We have a buyback like this; it gives the community the ability to do something themselves,” said Gonzalez. “We know that the police cannot keep the community safe by themselves. We need our community members to be part of the solution. These gun buybacks are an important piece to that. ”
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