An Apple a day keeps the guns away. New Yorkers can surrender their guns in exchange for iPads and prepaid cards this Saturday at the Manhattan D.A. Office and NYPD’s Harlem buyback program.
No questions asked and no I.D. needed. Handguns and assault rifles net $200 and a tablet. Shotguns, rifles and airguns will retrieve $25 each. The cash reward is paid out in activated, untraceable bank cards and will cap out at $600. Only one iPad per person. There’s no limit to how many guns can be surrendered.
Last year, 78 guns—real and fake—were turned in at the Harlem buyback. The event is one of the Manhattan D.A.’s initiatives honoring June’s Gun Violence Awareness Month.
“There are far too many people grieving due to gun violence, and we have an urgent responsibility to use every tool at our disposal to get guns off our streets,” said Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg in a statement. “That includes direct investments in neighborhoods, collaboration with community partners and coordination with other members of law enforcement. I am pleased that this comprehensive approach has begun to lead to a steady reduction in homicides and shootings in Manhattan, but we have a lot more work to do, and I look forward to taking part in these events with my fellow New Yorkers.”
Partnering offices told the Amsterdam News the buyback drive was an important measure for a safe summer and violence reduction.
“I am incredibly grateful to District Attorney Bragg for partnering with our office for this gun buyback in Harlem,” said Councilmember Shaun Abreu. “The data speaks for itself: fewer guns mean less gun violence, which means fewer families mourning the death of a loved one. If more guns were the answer, the U.S. would be the safest place on Earth. Instead, guns are the leading cause of death for U.S. children and teens. It is a policy failure, plain and simple. We need to do everything in our power to get guns off our streets, and this buyback program is a necessary start.”
“Gun violence in our communities and our youth is a concern that’s been one of our top priorities,” said Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan. “Last year we partnered with Black Ops to initiate a program called ‘Summer of Hope.’ We went outside in the community bringing resources, activities, and food; giving the youth an alternative than being on the streets. We hope to continue a similar program this year.
“With that being said, events like the buyback event will foster community engagement and help the community to feel more comfortable turning in firearms. We’ve seen in the past, some of our youth feel uncomfortable walking into precincts to turn in their guns. Having a community event, we hope, will ease that worry while also making our streets a safer place.“
The buyback runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Memorial Baptist Church on 141 W. 115th St.
Tandy Lau is a Report for America corps member and writes about public safety for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting https://bit.ly/amnews1.