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Building on a successful program held recently in the northern part of Brooklyn, cops in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, working with Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes, will be holding a Cash for Guns Day on which people who own illegal guns can bring them to half a dozen churches in the borough and turn them in.
The program will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 13th.
Guns can be dropped off on that date – no questions asked, no identification required -- at The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Solace, 1717 Mermaid Avenue; Saint Anthony Baptist Church, 425 Utica Avenue; Restoration Temple Assembly of God, 4606-10 Church Avenue; Our Lady of Refuge Roman Catholic Church, 2020 Foster Avenue; Immanuel & First Spanish Methodist Church, 424 Dean Street; and Saint Alban’s Episcopal Anglican Church, 9408 Farragut Road.
The theme of the program is “Turn in a gun at a designated house of worship and give our kids a prayer of a chance.”
“We want to make sure we get as many guns off the street as possible,” stressed Sergeant Herve Guiteau, a member of Brooklyn South’s community affairs unit, who spoke about the initiative during an anti-gun town hall meeting sponsored by City Councilmember Kendall Stewart and held at the Church of the Nativity, 1099 Ocean Avenue.
“When one gun leaves the street, that’s one less tragedy that can happen,” Guiteau added.
On September 13th, at each of the churches, said Guiteau, there will be range officers who can check the gun to make sure it is in working order – a requirement for receiving the reward -- and who will then “render the gun safe.”
All of the sites, he added, “will be staffed by community affairs officers, and all patrol and special units will be asked to stay away from the locations.”
Remuneration -- which will be in the form of a bank card, valid for 30 days from date of issue -- will range from $20 for BB guns and pellet guns, to $200 for a working handgun, said Guiteau. While an individual can turn in as many guns as he or she wants, the NYPD will only pay for three.
“This is expensive but it’s worth it because we’re saving lives,” emphasized Assistant District Attorney Lance Ogiste, who works for Kings County D.A. Charles Hynes.
The debut of the program in Brooklyn North was deemed to be extremely successful. In the course of one day, Ogiste noted, “697 weapons were taken off the streets of Brooklyn.” That number, according to Ogiste, included 204 revolvers, 193 semi-automatic pistols, 25 sawed-off shotguns and 12 assault weapons, as well as 226 rifles and other weapons such as BB guns and air pistols.
“One woman had a Victoria’s Secret bag with a gun,” Ogiste added. “Her husband’s gun, her father’s gun, her son’s gun – who knows?”
There are a few rules for participating in the buy back program. Guns must be transported to the drop-off site in a paper or plastic bag or inside a shoe box. If you drive to the drop-off site, you must transport the gun in the trunk of your vehicle. In addition, guns owned by active or retired law enforcement officers or licensed gun dealers will not be accepted.
Guns can be turned in for money at any time at a police precinct, Guiteau said. But, he noted, “Most people find the station house a tough place to go,” a major reason, he added, that the program involving local churches was instituted.
Further information on the Pay for Peace Gun Buy Back Program is available by calling 311.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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