Queens gun buyback events to offer $200 for working firearms, DA Katz tells 1010 WINS

1010 WINS Newsroom
August 13, 2020 - 10:53 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The Queens District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD are teaming up with a pair of churches in the borough to hold two gun buybacks this month. 

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The first buyback will take place at the Greater Springfield Community Church, at 177-06 129th Avenue in Jamaica, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 15. The second buyback will happen at the Macedonia Baptist Church, at 330 Beach 67th Street in Arverne, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22. 

Anyone who surrenders a working gun at either of the two events will receive a $200 bank card, “no questions asked,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in an interview with 1010 WINS’ Ema Jimenez on Wednesday. 

Shootings in New York City have increased “exponentially” this year, Katz said. In Queens, shootings have shot up by 85 percent, with 133 shootings recorded so far this year, compared to 72 shootings recorded during the same time last year, she said. 

“At the end of the day, we have a situation now where streets are emptier, people are able to wear masks, and hide, there’s less witnesses on the street, and the pressure is growing day by day, either because of unemployment or because of quarantine,” she said. 

“I’m of the belief that you can’t prosecute your way out of these shootings,” she added. “Study upon study, (and) what we know from stats have shown that this is a very successful program, (and) that people feel comfortable bringing their guns in off the street.” 

Gun buyback programs are aimed at people who either own a gun or have a family member who owns a gun and “feel they have no way out,” she explained. 

“This is really not about the money. It’s really being able to turn in your weapon in a safe environment, knowing that no questions will be asked about the use of a weapon,” she said. “At the end of the day, every single gun that we get off the street is better than having it in someone’s house."