$300,000 Commitment by Council and NYPD With Support From Community Leaders Will Help Take Guns Off The Streets And Reduce Gun Violence

By Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher @HHSYC

The socially responsible Source Magazine is committed to use it’s Hip-Hop platform to reduce gun violence and will be working with the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council and Citywide Gun Buyback pic1their Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Project to promote each event and help get guns off the street.  Below is the press conference we attend announcing the initiative.  We applaud Speaker Quinn, City Councilmembers, Commissioner Kelly and the NYPD for stepping up to the plate and implementing this initiative to make our community safe.

 

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

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City Hall

New York, NY 10007

                                                                                                                                 (212) 788-7116

**For Immediate Release**

July 28, 2013

Contact: (212) 788-7116
Release #: 134-2013

Speaker Quinn, City Council Members and NYPD Announce Citywide Gun Buy-Back Initiative

$300,000 commitment by Council and NYPD will provide incentive to turn in weapons, taking firearms off New York City streets

New York, NY- City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Task Force to Combat Gun Violence Chairs Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera and the New York City Police Department (NYPD)  today announced the launch of a citywide gun buy-back program to reduce the number of weapons on New York City streets. The City Council and the NYPD each provided $150,000 in funding for 10 gun buy-back programs – and idea championed by Council Member Vincent Ignizio – which will be held in the months ahead. NYPD officials will work with the Council to choose locations for the buy-backs. The announcement was made today at City Hall with District Attorney Charles Hynes and Council Members Brewer, Eugene, Ferreras, Gennaro, Gentile, Koslowitz, Mealy, Richards, Van Bramer, Weprin, Wills along with anti-gun violence advocates.

“Ensuring the public’s safety is one of government’s most fundamental responsibilities, and this initiative will help keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives,” said Speaker Quinn. “Every single life lost to the hands of a criminal with a gun is a tragedy. Through this series of gun buy-backs, we can prevent the violence that devastates families and entire communities. We must protect the city we love, and with our gun buy-back program, we’re not just taking guns back – we’re also taking back our city’s streets.”

“New York City police officers take thousands of the guns off the street through proactive policing, often at risk to their own lives, as demonstrated so tragically with the assassinations of Detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin. However we’ve also used gun buy-back programs with clergy throughout the city in which individuals can surrender guns, no questions asked. The district attorneys from each of the five boroughs have collaborated with us to provide matching forfeiture funds to help underwrite the payment of $200 for each handgun surrendered in our buy-back programs, which began five years ago this summer. We’re grateful that Speaker Quinn and the Council have identified funds to make even more buy-back programs possible over the coming year. It’s all about saving lives,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

The Council and NYPD are working together to determine locations based on shooting incidents, homicides, firearms arrests and gun trafficking patterns. Once a house of worship volunteers to be a buy-back location, NYPD firearms experts determine whether it is a suitable location for weapons to be surrendered and rendered safe there. Locations will be announced in the months ahead.

The program will allow New Yorkers to exchange weapons for a $200 bank card for the return of operable handguns and assault rifles, and a $20 bank card for the return of rifles and shotguns.

“While New York City is one of the safest cities in America, guns continue to be a problem in our communities. This gun buy-back program will go a long way in our efforts to protect our neighborhoods and keep New Yorkers safe. I want to thank Speaker Quinn and the NYPD for all their work on this initiative,” said Majority Leader Joel Rivera.

“I am proud to stand here today alongside Speaker Quinn, my fellow colleagues, and the NYPD to announce the initiation of the gun buy-back program.” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “For too many New Yorkers, gun violence is a very grim and tragic reality. Today we are working in solidarity to end these crimes and ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”

“Enhancing an initiative, such as the gun buy-back program, that takes action to get illegal guns off the streets validates the importance of working within our communities to make our city safer.  Unfortunately, too many of us know someone that has been affected by gun-violence and its imperative that we pull together resources to prevent the tragic loss of more lives,” said Council Member Jackson. “As always, I ask anyone in possession of an illegal firearm to not be afraid to turn it in.  If you are, contact me and I will personally help you as an extension of this program.  It’s time that we step up, end the violence and promote peace and unity.”

“Gun violence is an issue that unfortunately continues to tear apart communities throughout our country every day,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “These ten new gun buy-back programs will not only go far in improving the safety of our streets, but they will also allow New Yorkers to have the peace of mind knowing there are less guns in our City. Everyone deserves to feel safe in and around their homes. I applaud Council Speaker Quinn and the NYPD for bringing these new proactive programs to our communities.”

“Gun violence has had a devastating effect on many low-income communities throughout New York City. With the help of community and religious leaders, as well as anti-violence advocates, it is time for a common-sense approach to getting deadly weapons off our streets,” said Council Member Letitia James.

“By getting guns out of the streets and into the hands of law enforcement officials, we are making our city safer and protecting the lives of New Yorkers. Thank you to Speaker Quinn for her leadership on this issue,” said Council Member Steve Levin.

“It is time to put an end to the gun violence that has been plaguing our communities for far too long in the City of New York,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “No resident should fear being gunned down while walking through their neighborhood. By implementing this gun buy-back initiative throughout the City we are actively helping get illegal guns off the streets and helping save the lives of countless New Yorkers who would have potentially been killed. I’m proud to join Speaker Christine Quinn and my colleagues in the New York City Council in ensuring this program makes our communities a safe haven for all.”

Council Member Rosie Mendez said, “I commend Speaker Christine Quinn and my colleagues for implementing this important and targeted gun buy-back program across our City in areas of appreciable need.  This essential initiative is a logical and invaluable complement to the work of the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, which produced a number of meaningful approaches—such as the Shooting Incident Crisis Management System and the CureViolence Programs to reduce the scourge of gun violence in our communities. The Council has consistently proven that public safety is our shared responsibility and that comprehensive gun control and violence prevention initiatives should be our collective priority.”

“As one of the sponsors of the first gun buy-back program in Queens, I am heavily invested in keeping our streets safe. Any gun violence in New York City is a travesty that we, as representatives of the people, must do everything in our power to fight. I am completely behind our speaker in her efforts to save lives in our city,” said Council Member Donovan Richards.

“The Council’s gun buyback program is a proven way to get guns off the streets, raise public awareness and most importantly make our City a safer place,” said Council Member Mark Weprin.

“The effects of gun violence are permanent. The terrible consequences of the act touch not only the victims of gun violence, but their families, friends, and entire communities. The scars left from these violent crimes are carried for a lifetime and that is no burden any child, man, or woman should carry.  I would like to commend Speaker Christine Quinn for her efforts to reduce gun violence in our neighborhoods, “said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.

Council Member Leroy Comrie said: “We need to continue to do everything we can to keep our communities safe. Gun buyback programs will help ensure these weapons do not fall into the wrong hands, and I am proud that Speaker Quinn is starting a City Council gun buyback program. Stemming from the feedback we have received from the anti-violence initiative, we believe this program will help keep our streets safe.”

“Gun violence is an epidemic in our city and in our nation. With this citywide gun buyback initiative, New York City is demonstrating its commitment to getting guns off our streets and reducing violence. Just as every gun has the potential to ruin countless lives, each gun collected represents potentially dozens of innocent lives protected. I urge all New Yorkers with weapons in their homes to take advantage of this program, and help end the scourge of gun violence in our city,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer.

“The gun buyback initiative will go a long way in ensuring the continued safety and protection of New Yorkers.” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “As a community we must come together and send the clear message that we will not tolerate gun violence in our neighborhoods. I applaud Speaker Quinn, my Council colleagues, and the NYPD who continue to work tirelessly to keep our city streets safe.”

“New Yorkers deserve to live in a safe city and as long as guns remain in the hands of criminals, their safety is at risk,” said Council Member Lew Fidler. “This partnership between the City Council and the NYPD to launch multiple gun buyback programs will continue our efforts to better protect New Yorkers. I thank the Speaker, my Council colleagues, the NYPD and all the anti-gun violence advocates who spearheaded this important initiative.”

“As a mom, I don’t want any mother to feel the pain of losing a child to gun violence. This program will help get weapons off the streets and make our city safer,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin.

“Although gun violence in New York City continues to fall, the Council, under the leadership of Speaker Quinn, recognizes that violence can spike in an instant, especially with so many guns still on streets,” said Council Member Annabel Palma. “I trust that this buyback program will be an important resource for the neighborhoods where gun violence is intractable.”

“Our work to fight gun violence in New York City is a tireless one but one that we will not quit until we see it eradicated from our streets,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “As the heat of summer burns on, we must keep up our efforts to get illegal guns off of our streets and encourage our youth to be smarter and more peaceful when it comes to conflict resolution. These efforts take care, patience and commitment but every life we save makes it all the more worth it.”

“The best way to stop gun violence is to get guns off the street,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick.  “This initiative shows the City is willing to put its money where its mouth is to make that happen.”

“In the past gun buybacks have proven to be an effective tool in removing illegal guns from off our streets.  I commend the New York City Police Department for matching the City Council dollar for dollar and bringing this program to every borough. Although we anticipate the success of this gun buyback program, we strive for the day we will no longer have to hold a gun buyback program,” said Council Member Ruben Wills.

“The intrinsic value in gun buyback programs has been recognized and has led to the successful removal of guns from our communities and has proven to be an effective component used in our anti-gun violence arsenal,” said Council Member Debi Rose.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said, “I thank Speaker Quinn, the City Council, and the NYPD for sponsoring these important events, and for their commitment to keeping New York City safe. Despite having some of the strongest anti-gun laws in the nation, families and communities in our city continue to grieve the loss of loved ones to senseless gun violence. In the last few months, my Office has secured convictions against individuals in the fatal shootings of two young people, an 18-year-old star of her high school basketball team and a 21-year-old man on his way to graduate school. As the district attorney, my job is to keep the public safe – this effort to take as many illegal guns off city streets as possible will surely help in that mission.”

“We believe that as long funding is available citizens should be given every incentive and opportunity possible to turn in illegal firearms and get these instruments of death off the streets.  We have joined the NYPD in conducting four gun buybacks in the Bronx to date and the commitment to continue these efforts citywide is to be commended,” said Bronx District Attorney Johnson.

Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. said, “On Staten Island, my office has hosted three gun buyback events over the past five years and recovered 567 dangerous weapons. I applaud Speaker Christine Quinn, the City Council and the NYPD, under the leadership of Commissioner Ray Kelly, on their continued efforts to get illegal guns off our streets with a citywide buyback program. I implore Staten Islanders to participate and surrender their illegal firearms.”

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “Getting guns off the street and reducing crime has always been, and remains, a top priority of my office. The ultimate goal of this law enforcement initiative is to get as many guns as possible off the streets of New York in order to reduce firearm violence and bring about safer neighborhoods for all residents. The support of the community is critical to the success of this program and emblematic of the level of cooperation needed by law enforcement to ensure the safety of everyone.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Hynes said, “I applaud the City Council and Speaker Quinn for partnering with Commissioner Ray Kelly and the New York City Police Department in supporting gun buy backs.  We have been partnering with individual council members, clergy, local elected officials and the NYPD since 2008. During that time we have gotten 2778 guns off the street. Expanding this to five boroughs is certain to deliver the message that we will do everything within our power to reduce gun violence.”

“New Yorkers Against Gun Violence welcomes efforts to remove illegal guns from our streets. The latest FBI trace data shows that 68% of crime guns recovered in our state originate from states with weak gun laws. Strong federal laws that would increase penalties for gun traffickers and straw purchasers, and mandate background checks for all gun sales, would give law enforcement the tools it needs to keep guns out of the wrong hands and crack down on illegal gun traffickers,” said Executive Director, Leah Gunn Barrett. “Until Congress acts to pass these common sense measures, we will continue to see illegal guns flowing into our communities from out of state, killing and injuring New Yorkers.”

“Every day we are reminded of the terror of gun violence.  The senseless deaths and devaluation of life must end.  What also has to end is the ease with which perpetrators obtain guns.  We must demand stricter gun laws and support gun buyback programs such as this that help get guns off the streets and make us that much safer.  I commend City Council Speaker Quinn, Members of the NYC Council, NYPD and NYC District Attorneys for taking leadership roles in ridding our city of dangerous weapons and their collective efforts to reduce gun violence,” said Carmen Neely, President, Harlem Pride.

“Sunday’s Gun Buy Back Program, coordinated by The Speaker, Members of the NYC Council, NYPD and NYC District Attorneys, will not only increase public safety by removing dangerous guns from our streets, but it will also allow New Yorkers who are most vulnerable to violence and incarceration to begin to rebuild their lives around through access to evidence-based social service programming and other non-incarcerated solutions,” Glenn E. Martin, Vice President of Development and Public Affairs, The Fortune Society.

Reverend David Cousins of the Bridge Street AME Baptist Church said, “We must do more to get guns off of our streets, and programs like these are a key component in our efforts to end violence in New York City. Gun violence, in one way or another, affects all of us, and we all must do our part to improve public safety in every borough, in every community on every street. I want to thank Speaker Quinn, the Members of the New York City Council and the NYPD for their commitment to this effort.”