New York Attorney General Letitia James bragged on Twitter over the weekend about a gun “buyback” event in Queens that managed to collect 79 “firearms,” most of which were old revolvers and bolt-action rifles and some of which were BB and replica guns.
“Gun violence threatens our communities and puts New Yorkers in harm’s way every day. It is more critical now than ever, especially during gun violence awareness month, that we take measures to curb this devastation and protect our neighborhoods and families,” James said in a press release.
Today we collected 79 firearms at our community gun buyback event in Queens.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) June 12, 2021
Queens is experiencing devastating gun violence, and I’m proud to see New Yorkers are doing their part to combat this epidemic and protect our communities. pic.twitter.com/oKQKTZKBGO
The event was hosted at St. Mary Magdalene Roman Catholic Church in Springfield Gardens, Queens, and was sponsored by Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Gateway JFK, St. Luke Cathedral of Laurelton, St. Mary Magdalene, and the New York City Police Foundation.
Katz applauded those who brought their firearms to be destroyed.
“It is important that we continue to come together as a community to reject the idea that this scourge of gun violence is insurmountable. We must take every step that we can. Every gun that we get off the streets is a potential life saved, a potential tragedy averted,” she said.
Total of 79 weapons were taken off our streets today during our gun buy-back program. Every one of these guns is a potential life saved, a potential tragedy averted.— Queens DA Katz (@QueensDAKatz) June 12, 2021
Thank you to @NewYorkStateAG & @NYPDQueensSouth for your partnership and unwavering commitment to public safety. pic.twitter.com/okYm19yRn8
Those who brought operable handguns were given $200 and an iPad, and rifles and shotguns were worth $75, according to a flyer for the event obtained by GunsAmerica. Local media also reported that those who brought BB guns or air pistols were given $25.
Katz’s office did not respond to a GunsAmerica request for a list of the 79 “firearms” collected, but a review of the images from the event shows that the bulk of the weapons were old revolvers and bolt-action rifles. Along with BB guns and other air pistols, local media also mentioned that some of the “guns” surrendered were “imitation pistols.”
Gun “buybacks” are a favorite public relations tactic among anti-gun activists, but as should be obvious from this latest event, there is zero evidence that they do anything to reduce crime. The majority of guns collected aren’t the kind used by criminals to perpetrate violence. Most people who offer their firearms simply don’t use or want them anymore—they’ve been collecting dust in an attic, and their owners figure that $200 or $75 is better than nothing.