Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz and the NYPD teamed up to host a gun buyback event Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Church of God Christian Academy in Far Rockaway. According to Katz, 32 guns were collected at the event.
“Gun violence will never become the norm in our communities and we will continue to make every determined effort to rid our streets of this plague,” Katz said. “My office, in partnership with our faith-based leaders, local public officials and neighborhood residents, stand united in support of meaningful prevention strategies such as the gun buyback events. Each of the 32 guns recovered today is a move away from potential destruction. I thank today’s co-sponsors for their partnership and dedication to public safety.”
The purpose of the buyback event is to curb gun violence and the destruction it causes by accepting working unloaded firearms in exchange for financial compensations. The guns are exchanged with no questions asked about them.
“Every gun that we get off our streets is a gun that will never be used to harm another New Yorker,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “This gun buyback event is one more component of our continuous effort to keep the people of New York City safe and I want to thank the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for its partnership in this important program – and for its steadfast commitment to public safety.”
The sponsors for this event included the NYPD, Congressman Gregory Meeks, the Office of the State Attorney General Letitia James, City Council Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers, Church of God Christian Academy, First Church of God and the Food Baazar Supermarket.
“Public safety is our top priority and my office will continue working to ensure that every New Yorker feels safe and secure,” Attorney General James said. “Gun buybacks are one of the ways we can help prevent tragedies, get guns off the streets and help save lives. I thank District Attorney Katz and our partners in law enforcement for their work on this important initiative.”
This was the eighth buyback event held by Katz’s administration. In total, more than 400 guns have been collected through these events.
“Every gun that is surrendered is a step toward ensuring safer communities and preventing the loss of lives,” Meeks said. “I commend local officials and partners for placing public safety at the forefront by leading this event to eliminate gun violence in our communities and protecting our neighborhoods. We must continue implementing initiatives such as the Queens Gun Buyback program to reduce preventable crimes and tragedies.”
“Our community has been devastated over and over again and we must do all we can to get illegal guns off of our streets,” Brooks-Powers said. “The gun buyback program, while one of many solutions, have proven effective. I commend Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz for her continued partnership and commitment to combating the root to gun violence: access to illegal guns.”