LocalSYR

Shootings spur gun buyback program

In the wake of recent, deadly shootings across the nation, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Ithaca Police Department co-hosted its first gun buyback program on Saturday.
ITHACA, NY (WSYR-TV) - In the wake of recent, deadly shootings across the nation, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Ithaca Police Department co-hosted its first gun buyback program on Saturday.

More than 100 guns were collected at the Ithaca Fire Department.

People could receive up to $200 dollars in exchange for each gun turned in, no questions asked.

The goal was to remove illegal weapons from the community and make Tompkins County streets a little safer.

"The gun buyback program has nothing to do with anyone's 2nd Amendment rights. It is strictly a way to get illegal and unsecured guns off of our streets,” said City of Ithaca Police officer Jamie Williamson.

The buy back was spurred by the recent shooting tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Webster, NY and in Ithaca, where Officer Anthony Augustine was shot back in October.

“It’s a good idea especially if you get some illegal handguns off the street,” said Norman Mayes, who exchanged a gun for cash.

“There's amnesty and immunity for all people that are involved, the DA’s office has endorsed that. So if you're possessing a handgun in the sense that it’s not on your pistol permit or you don't have a pistol permit there's no prosecution,” said Officer Williamson.

Money for the buyback program comes out of a special city fund, that includes, for example, money from drug raids.

All guns collected on Sunday will be destroyed at the Ithaca Police Department.

City and County leaders will meet soon to discuss a date for a second gun buyback program.

If you missed Saturday’s buyback, you can turn in your gun at any police department, you just won't get amnesty or cash.

Click here for more information.
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