New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that 296 firearms, including 177 ghost guns, were turned in to law enforcement at a gun buyback event hosted by her office and the Utica Police Department. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) accepts — with no questions asked — working and non-working, unloaded firearms in exchange for compensation on site. Yesterday’s event is a part of Attorney General James’ ongoing efforts to combat gun violence and protect New Yorkers throughout the state. To date, Attorney General James has taken more than 3,300 firearms out of communities through gun buyback events and other initiatives since taking office in 2019.
“Gun violence is a scourge that devastates neighborhoods and endangers New York families,” said Attorney General James. “Gun buybacks, such as the one we hosted yesterday, are one of the many ways I am working to combat this crisis, reduce crime, and protect New Yorkers from harm. Every gun that was turned in is a potential tragedy prevented and a potential life saved, and I thank the Utica Police Department for their invaluable support and collaboration.”
Yesterday’s community gun buyback resulted in the collection of 296 guns, including 177 ghost guns, 42 long guns, 41 handguns, 33 non-working guns, and 3 assault rifles. Since 2013, OAG has hosted gun buyback events throughout New York state and has successfully collected more than 5,300 firearms. To date, Attorney General James has helped remove more than 3,300 guns out of communities since 2019.
In exchange for the firearms, OAG offered monetary compensation, in the form of prepaid gift cards, when an unloaded gun was received and secured by an officer on site.
“Reducing gun violence is a top priority of my administration,” said Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri. “The city was proactive in utilizing federal resources to hire more police officers to specifically reduce gun violence. These actions, coupled with efforts such as the gun buyback initiative, have substantive impact in addressing gun violence. I commend Attorney General James for her continued leadership on this important issue.”
“I want to thank Attorney General Letitia James and the Utica Police Department for hosting a very important gun buyback event,” said Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon. “These events are to get guns off our streets! Both agencies work to make these event accessible for all that have a gun or guns that need to be turned over to the authorities.”