Director Lateef Johnson-Kinsey says “the time is now to act”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Police Chief Joe Cecile and Director of the Mayor’s Office to Reduce Gun Violence Lateef Johnson-Kinsey are issuing a call to the community to respond to the Syracuse Gun Buyback program on Saturday, May 7. The program, hosted by the Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Lucy’s Food Pantry, 425 Gifford Street.

People who return hand guns assault rifles and other firearms under the amnesty program will be eligible to receive a financial payment in the form of a pre-paid gift card. No identification is needed to turn in a firearm, and no questions are asked of persons dropping off firearms. Weapons returned must be unloaded and placed in a box, or plastic or paper bag. Individuals can surrender as many firearms as they wish to provide. Licensed gun dealers and active or retired law enforcement officers are not eligible for the program.

“I’ve heard from our community members, and the time is now to act on another gun buyback. Syracuse is ready to lead the nation in reducing gun violence,” said Johnson-Kinsey, who was appointed to Director of the Mayor’s Office to Reduce Gun Violence by Mayor Walsh in March. “Getting illegal and dangerous firearms off of our city’s streets and out of our neighborhoods is an important step in creating a safer city.”

“Communities throughout New York are dealing with a rise in gun violence, and one of the best ways to combat this crisis is getting guns off the streets,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “We have taken more than 2,600 guns out of circulation through our gun buyback events, which allow people to turn in guns for money without any questions asked. I strongly encourage people in Syracuse and throughout the state to turn in their guns at our event this weekend and help protect all of our communities.”

“Last year, we partnered with Attorney General James’ Office to host the most successful gun buyback in program history, acquiring 342 guns and enhancing safety in Syracuse. I’m pleased that we are joining forces yet again to take action and get even more guns off our streets,” said Mayor Walsh. “Reducing gun violence requires a comprehensive, dedicated and consistent response. I urge members of our community take advantage of this opportunity.”

“If you know of an illegal firearm or any firearm that needs to be disposed of, this ‘no questions asked’ Amnesty program is the time to do so,” said Chief Cecile. “It is crucial that we get illegal firearms off the streets. I ask community members for their help in spreading the word about this program, and look forward to another successful buyback with the Attorney General’s office.”

The Office of the Attorney General program accepts the following types of firearms:

Assault Rifle$300
Rifle or Shotgun$75
Non-working, replica
or antique gun

Additional gift card may be available for ghost gun or non-serialized guns.

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