As residents of New York City continue to be tormented by a wave of gun violence this summer, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato joined Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz and the NYPD’s 100th and 101st precincts for their latest “Gun Buyback” program at Macedonia Baptist Church in the Arverne section of Rockaway.
The latest event was one of several that Katz and the NYPD have hosted throughout the borough to help combat the scourge violence. Forty-four operable handguns were exchanged for $200 bank cards with no questions asked at the gun buyback.
“This is an incredible event hosted by DA Katz and the NYPD as they work to combat increasing gun violence in our community in a tangible and meaningful way,” Pheffer Amato said. “Forty-four guns off the streets is a significant number and will save countless lives. Programs like this are so vital as they incentivize the turning in of dangerous weapons with no questions asked.”
The previous Saturday, Katz held another event at the Greater Springfield Community Church in Jamaica. At each event, plainclothes police officers, Queens district attorney detective investigators and members of the NYPD Queens District Attorney Squad were on hand in the churches to accept the firearms.
“This summer has seen a horrible spike in shootings,” Katz said. “This increase in gun violence is unacceptable, but we can do something about it. Each gun taken off the street is a tragedy averted.”
Participants at the events were encouraged to bring unloaded weapons in paper or paper bags or shoe boxes when brought to the churches.
“We cannot prosecute our way out of this. We need everyone to work together, my office, law enforcement, our faith leaders and everyone in the community, to stop the violence,” Katz said. “The ultimate goal of this initiative is to get as many guns as possible off the streets of Queens County and make our community safe for everyone. We are all partners in this mission.”