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Syracuse to participate in statewide gun buyback weekend


The City of Syracuse is joining in a first-ever, statewide series of gun buybacks this weekend.

There will be nine simultaneous gun buyback events sponsored by the state Attorney General’s Office on April 29. Individuals bringing everything from an assault rifle to a 3D-printed gun will receive up to $500 in cash, with no questions asked. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said it’s worked in the past.

“Over the last two years, we’ve collected 582 guns through this program," Walsh said. "That’s 582 guns that aren’t at risk for getting into the wrong hands."

Gun seizures by Syracuse Police are up 38% this year already, most of them bought out-of-state. Walsh said there’s a direct link between an increasing number of guns, and gun crime, especially an increased number of homicides in the city this year.

"People will say ‘Well the criminals aren’t going to bring in their guns,'" Walsh said. "They likely will not, but we have so many guns in this community and this country that inevitably, some of those guns even if they started in the right hands, end up in the wrong hands.”

Walsh said any gun off the street is a good thing.

"Given the number of guns in this community, if there is anyone in the city or this community that is in possession of a gun that doesn’t want it, we don’t want you to have it," Walsh continued. "This is a process whereby we can get those guns out of the hands of people that don’t want them, and in doing so out of the hands of people that might try to take them."

The gun buyback in Syracuse will take place at St. Lucy’s Food Pantry on Gifford Street.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.