Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. were joined by the pastors of four Bronx churches to announce the borough’s second gun buyback program in an effort to get illegal hand guns and other weapons off the streets and out of circulation.
Participants will receive a $200 pre-paid cash card for each eligible weapon surrendered, no questions asked. The gun buyback / amnesty program will take place on one day only – Saturday, January 23, 2010 – between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at four drop-off locations.
District Attorney Johnson said: “This buyback / amnesty program is a tangible way to help save lives and reduce the number of gun related crippling injuries in our community, by promoting a message of peace and non-violence during the week in which we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.”
Commissioner Kelly said: “The partnership between clergy, police and prosecutors is truly an inspired way to get guns off the street and make the Bronx even safer.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said: “Though Bronxites can celebrate that the overall crime rate in our borough is down from last year, there are still too many shootings in our borough. We have to work harder to bring peace to the neighborhoods of the Bronx, and taking illegal guns off of our streets and out of our communities is one of the best ways to do it.”
On Saturday, January 23, 2010, people who own legal or illegal guns will be able to trade them for $200 bank cards. All of the transactions will be completely anonymous. There will be no questions asked, and a $200 bank card will be issued for each operable gun that is surrendered. There is no limit on how many guns may be turned in, however participants will only be paid a maximum sum of $600 for three guns. The bank cards can be used either as a debit card to make purchases or to withdraw cash from any ATM.
Handguns, rifles and shotguns will be accepted, however guns belonging to either active or retired law enforcement officials are not eligible for the buyback program. Functional BB guns and air pistols may be exchanged for a gift card.
Plainclothes NYPD police officers and Bronx DA Detective Investigators will be on hand at the churches to accept the firearms that are surrendered. Participants are encouraged to bring the unloaded weapons in paper or plastic bags, or shoe boxes. If the weapons are being transported by car, they must be placed in the trunk of the car.
Primary funding for the gun buyback program is being provided by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD. The Office of the Bronx Borough President has obtained partial funding in the form of contributions of gift cards from major retail stores. Firearms may be surrendered at the following locations:
St. Luke’s Catholic Church
623 East 138th Street
Bronx, New York 10454
(Between Cypress Avenue & St. Ann’s Street)
Reverend Msgr. Gerald J. Ryan
St. Augustine’s Catholic
1183 Franklin Avenue
Bronx, New York 10456
(C/O East 167th Street)
Reverend Thomas Fenlon
Transfiguration Lutheran Church
763 Prospect Avenue
Bronx, New York 10455
(C/O 156th Street)
Pastor Paul Block
Our Lady of Grace
3985 Bronxwood Avenue
Bronx, New York 10466
(C/O East 226th Street)
Father Levelt Germain