As part of the Operation Safe Streets program announced in June, the City of Peekskill will host a gun buyback program Saturday (Sept. 21) that offers residents cash for turning in handguns, rifles and shotguns—legal, illegal or illegally possessed.
The no-questions-asked event is scheduled to take place at the United Methodist Church (1040 Main Street in Peekskill) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Here are some specifics, as detailed by city officials in a press release:
- 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 members 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.
The money for payments was gathered through fundraisers in the community, according to Peekskill Councilman Darren Rigger, who came up with the idea for the program. Some of the funding was also obtained through asset forfeiture from drug dealers.
The goal of Operation Safe Streets is to reduce the number of illegal and illegally-possessed guns in the city.
The first component of the program, a confidential tip line (914-468-4GUN) for local folks to report illegal firearms, was introduced in June. Information leading to the discovery of a weapon results in a $500-cash reward.
“The buyback event and the tip line are an important of our efforts to take deadly weapons out of circulation," Chief of Police Eric Johansen said. “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.”
Click here to read more about the program in a blog from the city. It features comments from Mayor Mary Foster and Councilman Darren Rigger as well as details on which local organizations donated to the program.