Attorney General James Announces 67 Guns Turned in at Community Gun Buyback in the Southern Tier

AG James Has Taken More Than 2,600 Firearms Out of Communities Since 2019

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that 67 firearms were turned in to law enforcement at a gun buyback event in the Southern Tier hosted by her office and the Elmira Police Department last night. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) accepts — with no questions asked — working and non-working, unloaded firearms in exchange for compensation on site. To date, Attorney General James has taken more than 2,600 firearms out of communities through gun buyback events and other efforts since taking office in 2019.

“Gun violence continues to endanger too many communities throughout New York,” said Attorney General James. “The first step to prevent this violence and stop any potential devastation is to get these dangerous weapons off our streets, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with these buyback events. The safety and wellbeing of New Yorkers is paramount, and I thank our partners in law enforcement for their invaluable support and collaboration on this vital program.”

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“The Elmira Police Department would like to thank New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office for the financial and logistical support,” said Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz. “The attorney general’s investigators were extremely helpful with the entire planning and execution of this project. We would also like to recognize the City of Light church for providing volunteers and a safe space for the collection of these weapons. The City of Light has been a pillar of the community and one of our partners striving to inspire change and a reduction in the violence plaguing our community. Of course, we would also like to thank all those who dropped off firearms. We appreciate your proactive efforts and willingness to be a part of the solution.”

The community gun buyback resulted in the collection of 67 guns, including 43 handguns, 22 shotguns and rifles, an assault rifle, and a non-working gun. Since 2013, the OAG has hosted gun buyback events throughout New York state and has successfully collected more than 4,600 firearms.

In exchange for the firearms, the OAG offered monetary compensation, in the form of prepaid gift cards, when an unloaded gun was received and secured by an officer on site.

“Many thanks to Attorney General Letitia James and her office for assisting the Elmira Police Department with this gun buyback,” said Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell. “Also many thanks to Chief Alvernaz and the Elmira Police Department for holding this event. The city of Elmira, in concert with the Elmira Police Department, along with all the other local law enforcement agencies and the Office of the New York Attorney General, will continue to work diligently by utilizing all means available to rid our community of gun violence and to keep the citizens of our community safe.”

Gun violence is a public health crisis that is plaguing communities throughout New York, and this event is the latest action that Attorney General James has taken to combat this crisis and protect New Yorkers from harm. This year alone, Attorney General James has held 17 gun buybacks across the state, and has also secured dozens of dangerous firearms through takedowns of violent groups terrorizing New York. To date, Attorney General James has taken a total of more than 2,600 guns out of communities since 2019.