New York AG Letitia James Brags About ‘Buying Back’ Old Revolvers and Bolt-Action Rifles

Most firearms collected aren’t the kind used in crimes. (Photo: Gateway JFK Facebook)

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.

SEE ALSO: NYC Boroughs Double Down on Failed Gun Buybacks

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.

SEE ALSO: Long Island Authorities Hold Toy Gun Buyback for Children

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.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Stilly June 18, 2021, 7:32 pm

    I cannot figure out how the state can “buy back” something that they never owned. Considering this is New York I think privet transfer is banned so these are all illegal transfers.

  • Garett P Mapes June 18, 2021, 4:29 pm

    She isnt very smart, now out of those people that turned in their weapons, how many of them were Gang members.
    Bet she didnt think about that one bit, she was to busy making herself out to be smart when in fact made her an idiot.
    So now you have unarmed citizens that will die at the hands of those that prey on the weak.
    Murder rate will go up, Armed Robbery, and the list goes on. DEFUND THE POLICE TO ADD TO THE ISSUE.

  • HarHar June 18, 2021, 3:12 pm

    Just another bought and paid for by Soros idiot.

  • Russ June 18, 2021, 12:36 pm

    What a massive failure. These idiotic criminal government fund suckers steal more guns so they can turn in the crappy ones to get more freebies. Boy New York State and the City are just full of idiots.

  • Easy Eddie June 18, 2021, 12:07 pm

    “Every one of these guns is a potential life saved, a potential tragedy averted.”

    I feel the same way when I keep my car in the garage at night. Unless I garage it I’m pretty sure it would take itself downtown at night, wreaking havoc, destruction and death. Heck, it would only be a matter of time before it would coax my guns into riding along with it.

    I’m pretty sure that gangs and other assorted bad actors aren’t walking around with a surplus Carcano under their jackets. And by the looks of this picture, no one bad guy turned in anything.

  • Tom E Taylor June 18, 2021, 12:03 pm

    The level of ignorance on the part of these elected officials is mindboggling. They tried to create a media opportunity which ended up being a total joke. If anyone thinks this was a useful program you are also dumb as a box of rocks. Democrats in general has lost their way….time to reexamine their goals and objectives since what they are doing is ridiculous.

  • Robert Stone June 18, 2021, 11:12 am

    In a way this is nice. Obviously the NY/NYC nincompoops who want to ponce in front of the cameras have no idea what they’re doing. But nobody should make the mistake of believing that (even though they clearly have more m-o-n-e-y than sense, wonder where they go that, eh?) they have accomplished nothing whatsoever. In all likelihood they have encouraged the presumably, “responsible”, unmentionables who brought these items to the buyback to khyfe (steal) them from the old folks (probably poor) who were keeping them for self-protection. So the net result? Yup, it’s all bad! The so-called community becomes weaker rather than stronger as a result of the cynically, “misguided”, fake-do-goodery of Mike Bloomberg, George Soros and all their elite, self-styled anti-2A friends. Not to mention these local dumb-bunnies (see photos) who are high on their own supply of self-serving hype.

  • Abby Normal June 18, 2021, 10:05 am

    A whopping total of 79 junkers from an estimated 15+M people. There’s an accomplishment. BB guns and replicas. LoLoLoL

  • MSG John Laigaie June 18, 2021, 9:35 am

    What a joke. Zero criminals were deprived of a firearm. Tax dollars were wasted to make the “table” look filled for the media.

  • Rob Thomas June 18, 2021, 9:31 am

    Wonder how soon those pistols will be back on the street. Probably Chicago.

  • Bryan June 18, 2021, 9:11 am

    What a damn joke…those aren’t gangbanger guns…show us pictures of the old guys that turned these guns in…or do you actually have pics of the many bloods, crips, and ms13 members standing in line just waiting to turn theirs in?

    No matter what you do, it could only end up with legal American citizens being unarmed with the criminals preying upon those same Americans without recourse…

    Your agenda is very clear…

  • Common sense June 18, 2021, 8:05 am

    I love these people that continue to blame an object a firearm requires the operation of a human being you will never change a thing until you can change people it doesn’t matter if it’s a firearm a knife and ax a hammer you name it they got it. You cannot change people get over it stop blaming objects. Get over it. Get over it. People will never change. Get over it

  • Macintyre June 18, 2021, 6:52 am

    I hate to see any old wheelgun get the axe. Cancel, cancel, cancel–

  • Mitch Connors June 18, 2021, 6:24 am

    I remember a gun buy back program in Hartford, CT. They were offering $500 for assault rifles. The local gun shop had cheap Chinese sks on sale for $79. It took the police hours to figure out the serial numbers were sequential. The politicians were patting themselves on the back. A day later the program was shutdown.

    • survivor50 June 18, 2021, 7:31 am

      That same SKS now sells for $ 500 …

      But yes… Wheel Guns are fine guns, and making a comeback…

      (I still have the boot print on my rear for NOT buying that RUGER Stainless old Army Black Powder waaay back when…)

  • James June 16, 2021, 12:05 pm

    Here we go again with politicians trying to get publicity and a name for themselves.
    James is no friend of gun owners She wants to BAN all citizens from owning any type of firearms!
    . As you know she is sueing the NRA as a criminal organization and is also doing the same with President Trump.
    James is the criminal here.
    Also the police watch these turn in a firearm events in surveillance vans taking videos and photos of citizens bringing in firearms.
    As the article wrote do they really think crininals drug dealers and gang members use these firearms? The criminals get their firearms in the black market, they don’t go to stores to purchase them.
    And saying lives will be saved. How would they know this? Can they predict the future? Probably lives would be lost as people now don’t have a firearm for protection.
    Maybe if the politicians stop listening to a bunch of loud mouth trouble maker criminals and the police were allowed to arrest these street criminals and gang members crime would go down. But she doesn’t want her ” bros and soul sisters” in jail.
    Also the Border Patrol has no more room for all the illegals so they are putting them on busses and planes and sending them to major cities, so that’s another reason the crime rate is up. Biden says they are “citizens” and can’t be deported or arrested!
    This isn’t really about stopping crime, it’s about stealing citizens rights and enslaving all Americans for the New World Order. Don’t forget the U.N. headquarters is in New York City.
    Protect and support your right to keep and own all types of firearms. Remember that a free country is an armed country.
    Don’t let Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, the Chinese government, the U.N., and Russia to restrict and ban firearms in America.

  • KimberproSS June 16, 2021, 11:19 am

    I wonder how much they paid for them? I have two boat anchor guns I hang onto simply because I had to rid myself of any firearms. But I would gladly sell them my junk, like it appears these fine citizens have.

  • JonsOn June 16, 2021, 11:04 am

    I wonder if instead of every one of these guns collected is a life saved did they stop to think that every one of these guns represents a life that won’t be saved because criminals don’t follow the law? Guns are used for self defense as well and now someone won’t have a firearm with which to defend themselves in case a criminal decides to commit a crime against that person. 79 guns out of a population of over 8 million is a joke. I wonder how many of those guns didn’t work or are replicas or BB/pellet guns. More importantly I wonder how many of those guns were stolen.

  • Snake June 16, 2021, 6:33 am

    „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.“

    About these New Yorkers, that Mrs. James is talking about: Are these gang members and other criminals? I really wonder about that. Same here:

    “Katz applauded those who brought their firearms to be destroyed.”

    Again, who are these people that brought their firearms to be destroyed? As long as they are not gang members and other kinds of criminals, I do not believe at all that this kind of stupid action will change anything about the ongoing situation. Fight the crime, people, not the guns that shall be always available for self defense, no to mention the fact that, as Mr. Michaels wrote, most of these guns are BB guns, air pistols, imitation pistols and old revolvers, which I strongly believe no gang member or criminal would use. Who, despite the people in that picture, do really believe that this event will change anything? And I also bet that this event would have not been this “successful”, if the ones that gave in their guns would have not received money and an iPad in return.

  • Blue Dog (he/him) June 15, 2021, 8:45 pm

    It looks like the inside of my safe! Minus the SKS, of course. A rusty old Ithaca, bolt-action Mossberg .22 and shotgun (complete with C-Lect choke!), and old 94 saddle ring carbine, a Marlin or Glenfield 60, some old revolvers, Smiths and H&Rs, a couple of really old Colt DAs… these guys are playing all the hits! It sickens me that some lunatic chopped the stock on that old Stevens side by side.

    • Alan S. June 18, 2021, 11:32 am

      So this was cosponsored by a Catholic Church? What happened to the church and state separation? Oh yeah, that’s only important when it’s convenient for these leftist loons. Catholic Church MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! STAY OUT OF POLITICS.

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