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The City of Peekskill to Host Gun Buyback to Rid City of Illegal and Unwanted Firearms

Community-sourced Funds Raised for Cash-for-Guns Program to be held  Saturday, September 21, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Guns 1The City of Peekskill will give residents a chance to turn in unwanted, illegal, or illegally-possessed firearms at a no-questions-asked gun buyback event on Saturday, September 21 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the United Methodist Church at 1040 Main Street in Peekskill. It’s part of the city’s new Operation Safe Streets program, which aims to reduce the supply of illegal guns to criminals in partnership with the Peekskill community.

The gun buyback offers cash to individuals who turn in assault rifles, handguns, rifles and/or shotguns. Funds for payments were raised by the community through a series of fundraisers, said Peekskill Councilman Darren Rigger, who first suggested the program to city officials.

“After Newtown, many Peekskill residents began looking for a safe way to dispose of unwanted firearms in their homes,” he said.  “Peekskill’s gun buyback program not only addresses a community need, it is also fully funded by the community.”

The details on the buy-back are as follows:

  • Cash payments will be varied depending on the type of weapon: $100 for handguns; $200 for rifles/shotguns and $250 for assault rifles.
  • Weapons must be brought unloaded and in a case or holster if possible.
  • Active and retired law enforcement are ineligible to receive payment.
  • Legal, illegal, or illegally possessed firearms will qualify for the buyback program.
  • An illegal firearm is defined as any pistol, revolver, shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches, or a rifle having a barrel less than 16 inches, whose possession is in contrary to any section of the New York State Penal Law or Federal Statutes.

“This approach allows individuals to turn in guns anonymously at no cost to taxpayers. I hope every city resident, who wants to dispose of a firearm, will take advantage of this program,” said Rigger.

The first component of Operation Safe Streets, a confidential tip line launched in June, offers a $500 cash award to individuals who call (914) 468-4GUN and provide information that leads to the recovery of a weapon.

“The buyback event and the tip line are an important of our efforts to take deadly weapons out of circulation, said Eric Johansen, Chief of Police. “Together they represent the community working together with law enforcement on reducing gun violence in Peekskill, helping to make the city a great place to live, work, visit, and enjoy.”

Operation Safe Streets works in tandem with the city’s efforts toward attracting development downtown and along the waterfront, added Peekskill’s Mayor, Mary F. Foster. “From improved streetscapes to Riverfront development to plans for parks and trails, the city is on a path toward economic vitality. Reducing crime will help us maintain and accelerate Peekskill’s renaissance.”

All funds for this program were generated through asset forfeiture (from drug dealers) and community donations including a $1,000 donation from the Peekskill Rotary and $250 donations from the Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art, The Peekskill PBA, and the Peekskill Police Superior Officers Association.

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Fifty miles north of Manhattan, The City of Peekskill is among the historic Hudson River towns in Westchester. Formerly one of New York’s manufacturing bases, Peekskill underwent economic revitalization in the 1990s. It is home today to many small businesses and medical facilities, as well as a thriving downtown hub that has attracted galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, and artists’ studios. The Paramount Theater is an important component of that hub. Visit www.cityofpeekskill.com for more information.

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