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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2008 Archives > September 2008 > Mayor Brown Announces Second Citywide Gun Buyback Program

Mayor Brown Announces Second Citywide Gun Buyback Program

Office of the Mayor
Peter K. Cutler
Director of Communications

No Questions Asked, Pre-Paid Cash Cards for Guns

Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced his Administration’s second “No Questions Asked” Gun Buyback Program will take place on Saturday, September 27, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at seven drop-off sites across Buffalo.

“Last year’s gun buyback effort exceeded all of our expectations and confirmed our belief that this tactic would be useful in removing illegal guns from the streets of our city,” said Mayor Brown. “With a total of 878 guns collected at seven drop-off sites in the city, we accomplished our goal: to provide our residents with the opportunity to get these guns out of their homes, out of harm’s way and into a safe and secure location.  I commended all of the conscientious city residents who stepped forward to turn in these very lethal and potentially dangerous illegal guns and look forward to the same response this year.”

According to the City Comptroller’s office a total of 878 guns were turned in by city residents, who, in turn, received a total of $41,940 through JP Morgan Chase cash cards distributed at each drop-off location.

Buffalo’s program was modeled after several other city’s successful gun buyback efforts, particularly the City of Chicago that in two different one-day gun buybacks retrieved over 4,200 guns.

This initiative is one of several anti-crime measures being implemented throughout the city, including the Buffalo Police Department’s Mobile Response Unit, which was launched on January 14th. 

Last year the Buffalo Police Department took 1,801 illegal guns off the streets of Buffalo, including those brought in through the one-day gun buyback effort. 

Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson said, “Our aim was to launch a Gun Buyback Program as a part of Mayor Brown’s overall anti-crime strategy to reduce the amount of illegal guns and gun-related violence on the streets of Buffalo. This year, we intend to repeat last year’s success and continue our successful anti-crime strategy.”

Comptroller Andy SanFilippo said he strongly supports the Gun Buyback Program's mission to reduce the number of weapons circulating on city streets:  "Last year was a success, but as we all know there are still too many guns in the wrong hands and that leads to trouble.  We all want to make our city as safe as possible and I have committed my office to this program and assigned one of my deputies, Rick Calipari, to again obtain the cash cards involved in the buy back transactions and to oversee the financial security of the operation."

Like last year, the goals for this program are:

· To provide safer neighborhoods throughout the City of Buffalo.
· To support Mayor Brown’s Zero Tolerance Law Enforcement Agenda.
· To instill a sense of confidence and safety among the city’s law abiding residents.

To help promote the September 27th Gun Buyback effort, Lamar Outdoor Advertising has generously provided creative design support along with outdoor advertising locations around the city to post billboards that highlight the program

“On behalf of Lamar Outdoor Advertising, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to again assist the City of Buffalo by donating billboard space to create awareness for the 2008 Gun Buyback program,” said Richard Dvorak, Vice President and General Manager of Lamar Outdoor Advertising.  “We are hopeful that this campaign will again be a success for the City of Buffalo and that it will help make our streets safer.”

Also, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has graciously agreed to post the City Of Buffalo’s Gun Buyback advertisement posters (the same as the Lamar Outdoor Advertising billboards) inside bus shelters based on availability of space.

Lawrence M. Meckler, NFTA executive director said, “The NFTA is again pleased to provide support to Mayor Brown for this important community initiative. Using Metro buses, shelters and rail stations to advertise the gun buyback program will hopefully again increase awareness of the program and thus reduce the number of illegal guns in our community.”

The overall effort is being financed by $50,000 in asset forfeiture funds that have been acquired by the city through the seizure of monies from illegal drug and other criminal activities in Buffalo.

On Saturday, September 27, 2008, the City of Buffalo’s Gun Buyback will occur at the following locations: Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway; Prince of Peace Christian Church, 190 Albany Street; Primera United Methodist Church, 62 Virginia Street; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 450 Abbott Road; True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 East Ferry Street; St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell Street; and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Parish Hall, 256 Riverside Avenue.

“I appreciate these faith-based congregations and their respective pastors for participating in this effort,” said Mayor Brown. “Their commitment to a safe city, where all residents enjoy a good quality of life, is at the core of what my Administration has been dedicated to since coming into office.  I will continue to pursue law enforcement initiatives that will make Buffalo an excellent city to live, work and raise a family.”

Pre-paid bank cash cards will be provided, no questions asked, in the following denominations:

$10.00 Non-working or antique guns (including BB guns and pellet guns)

$50.00 Rifles/Shotguns

$75.00 Handguns

$100.00 Assault Weapons (e.g., Uzi’s, AK-47s)

“By conducting this second Gun Buyback program, I know that this single effort will not eliminate illegal guns from the streets of Buffalo, but I also know that it will provide residents with an opportunity to turn in guns that they would like to remove from their homes,” said Mayor Brown. “This is just one of several tactics my Administration will continue to employ to make our city safe fro all residents.”

Mayor Brown added, “This year I am dedicating this gun buyback to the memory of Matthew Elliott and all of the city’s other homicide victims and their loved ones who have been robbed of their lives by senseless violence and careless criminals.”

Through the Buffalo Police Department’s enforcement of Mayor Brown’s Zero Tolerance anti-crime agenda, they have reduced overall crime in the city by approximately 7% over the past two years, reduced violent crime by 12% in 2007 versus 2006 and reduced homicides by 20% through August of this year versus the same time period in 2007.