Upadhye, Staff writer
October 4, 2013
Gun buyback most successful so far
The Southwest Gun Buyback last Saturday took 243 guns off
Rochester's streets, making it the city's most successful
buyback to date.
The event – a partnership among the New York Attorney
General's office, the Rochester Police Department and the
Southwest Gun Buyback Committee – was the first of a series
of buybacks around the state, according to Assistant
Attorney General Debra Martin.
In Rochester, residents came to 342 Arnett Blvd. to
anonymously drop off their working
and non-working guns in exchange for money. The Attorney
General's office issued debit cards: $25 for broken guns or
antiques, $50 for long guns, $75 for handguns, and $100 for
assault weapons, paying out a total of $16,000 by the end of
Additional $25 Tops grocery store gift cards were provided by the
committee, which raised money to support the effort, said Southwest
Gun Buyback Committee Member Susan Morehouse.
Martin emphasized that the buyback was successful primarily because
"Rochester got behind the event" by posting flyers and spreading the
word around their neighborhoods. Now, Morehouse said the committee
will be using their leftover funds to produce a video aimed at
encouraging reduced gun violence among youths.
Since part of the offer was to have no questions asked, all of the
guns will be melted down without being tested, according to
Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard.
Though that means potential evidence
could be lost forever, Sheppard said it was worth the trade-off.
"Of the 150 handguns recovered, only
10 had legal permits," he said. "If we didn't have this buyback, we
may never have seen these guns."
The next state-sponsored buyback will
take place in Utica on Oct. 19, but Morehouse proposed a friendly
challenge to keep the momentum going in Rochester: "Northeast side,
can you beat our number next spring?"