BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Less guns in the homes and on the streets should mean fewer violent crimes. At least that is what Mayor Byron Brown and the Buffalo Police Department are hoping for with their annual Gun Buyback Program.
This is the 5th year for the Gun Back Back program, and in that time people have brought in more than 3,000 guns and turned them over to Buffalo Police Officers.
Buffalo Police say that 746 guns were turned in, the second highest number since the program started. The most guns they have received was 878, the first year of the program. Saturday, police say their received 294 were non-working guns, 193 rifles, 254 handguns and five assault weapons.
Seven different churches were drop off points for people. Depending on the type of gun, debit cards were given out in return. Small, non working and pellet or BB guns received $10, shotguns and rifles are worth $50, handguns $75 and assault rifles or machine guns receive $100 cards.
Buffalo resident Charles Thompson said, "It's unsafe on the street especially with young kids. I'm turning mine back in because it's not safe to have around and I don't have it registered."
Most of the guns collected are either antiques or passed down from a relative. But Mayor Brown says getting those unwanted guns out of people's homes are just as important.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "It makes sense for them to get them out of their possession, because the can be stolen and then a gun that was a legal gun, falling into the hands of the wrong person, can be used for illegal purposes and can do great damage and great harm to the community."
In the past, AK-47s, Uzis and even grenades have been dropped off.
The program is funded through illegal drug assets and forfeitures. This is also a no-questions-asked drop off. Any other time a gun is confiscated by police, ballistics tests are done to try and link the weapon to unsolved crimes. All of the guns collected Saturday will be destroyed.
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