SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Saturday, Syracuse Mayor Walsh and the Syracuse Police Department hosted a gun buyback event. The program, according to Syracuse Police, is part of Attorney General’s statewide effort to combat gun violence. The Office of the Attorney General shared that a total of 240 guns were turned in.

You could exchange — no questions asked — any number of working or non-working and unloaded firearms for prepaid gift cards at the event at St. Lucy’s Food Pantry.

Cindy Strong was one of the community members who brought a gun to the buyback event. She and her sister knew her father owned a gun, but never knew where it was.

“We had heard about it, but never ever saw it, and when we were going through boxes of stuff since he passed, we found it… and I’ve just had it hidden because I don’t want anything to do with the gun,” said Strong.

Today’s event was the perfect opportunity for Cindy to get rid of the gun and get a prepaid gift card in exchange. The Office of the Attorney General shared the values of each returned weapon:

  • $300 per assault rifle
  • $150 per handgun
  • $75 per rifle or shotgun
  • $25 per non-working, replica, or antique gun

The buyback also served as an incentive to get illegal weapons off of the streets. While statistics say overall violent crime is down, the city still continues to grapple with gun crimes.

“When we have burglary of homes, sometimes folks get away with 6, 7, 8 guns from these homes, so if you have guns at home that are perhaps no longer secure, no longer needed, we’ll see a lot of those come in today too, so they don’t end up in the hands of people going to use them for criminal activity,” said new Syracuse Police Chief, Joe Cecile.

A flyer from Saturday’s Event

While gun buyback programs aren’t a panacea, they’re one more effort to make our community safer. The Office of the Attorney General has taken nearly 2,700 guns out of communities since 2019.