Well, if the bribe of extra money brings them in, so be it...

the following article is from the New York Times (.com) by Colin Moynihan
Swapping Guns for Cash, at Church
There was a time, in the 1970s and ’80s that handguns were so coveted on the streets of Kings County, that the borough gave rise to a law enforcement legend known as the Brooklyn Bounce. If you were to throw a gun from a window in Bay Ridge or Bushwick, so the legend went, it would be eagerly grabbed before it had a chance to bounce more than once.
Over the last decade or so, violent crime has dropped in Brooklyn, as it has in the rest of New York City, but plenty of guns are still in circulation. So for several hours starting on Saturday morning, six churches in central Brooklyn tried to help remedy that by inviting people to anonymously drop off firearms in exchange for cash cards worth hundreds of dollars.
The gun buyback program, which was financed by the New York Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, was intended to complement an existing Police Department program that gives $100 to any person who turns in a gun to any police facility in the city.
People who showed up at the churches on Saturday with a working pistol, rifle or shotgun were given $200 cash cards for each weapon, with a limit of three payments. The cards can be used at stores or to withdraw money at A.T.M.’s. And while the police officers inside the churches were also accepting air guns and BB guns, people who surrendered those received $20 apiece.
On Saturday morning, the Brooklyn district attorney,
Charles J. Hynes, visited the Southern Baptist Church in East New York and said that he was optimistic about the program. “We are hopeful that this will have a measurable effect in a further reduction of gun violence and murder,” he said. “I think we’re going to run out of money tonight.”
Two hundred thousand dollars had been allocated for the buybacks. Mr. Hynes said half came from his office’s asset forfeiture fund, which holds money confiscated in drug cases, and half was contributed by the Police Department.
Similar programs were carried out in 1998, when about 700 weapons were turned in to police precincts, and in 2000, when about the same number were handed over inside the lobby of Mr. Hynes’s office on Jay Street. Mr. Hynes said that he and Police Commissioner
Raymond W. Kelly had decided to revive the program after being approached by Congressman Edolphus Towns.
Churches were picked as drop-off spots, Mr. Hynes said, in the hope that people who might feel anxious about bringing unlicensed weapons to a law enforcement building would feel more at ease at a place of worship.
At one of the churches, the Helping Hands Ministries in Brownsville, a line of people waited to enter the building. They were holding cardboard boxes, plastic bags and paper sacks containing firearms and bullets.
“We know there is an excess of guns in our neighborhood,” said Randolph Ferdinand, the pastor. “And they are in the hands of the wrong people.”
In the church basement, people sat in plastic chairs, waiting for their turn to present the weapons they had brought. Police officers examined the firearms to make sure they were in working order, and then participants departed with their cash cards.
Some complained about waiting two hours or more to complete the process, but most praised the program for taking instruments of deadly force out of circulation.
There was Fran Fiore, who traveled from Staten Island with a friend, Pat Argenziano, who turned in his three 12-gauge shotguns that had once been used for hunting in the Catskills. “They should do this more often,” Ms. Fiore said. “It saves lives.”
Kevin Joseph, a pastor at a church in Jamaica, Queens, turned in a .22-caliber pistol that his mother brought with her when she moved to New York from Florida. Mr. Joseph said that he had been bewildered about how to safely get rid of the weapon, and he considered it a bonus that he had accomplished that goal and received $200 in the bargain.
“I’ll let my wife decide what to do with the money,” he said as he was leaving the church. “She’s the one in charge of spending.”


Popular posts from this blog

Lilith is Fair

But There IS Joel Kinnaman...

Interview with Countertenor Scott Belluz