Attorney General James Takes 98 Guns Off the Streets at Utica Gun Buyback

AG James Has Taken Nearly 2,100 Firearms Out of Communities Since 2019

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that 98 firearms were turned in to law enforcement at a gun buyback event hosted by her office and the Utica Police Department. 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 nearly 2,100 firearms out of communities through gun buyback events and other efforts since taking office in 2019.

“Gun violence continues to devastate our neighborhoods and endanger the welfare of our communities,” said Attorney General James. “From taking down violent drug rings fueling this crisis to hosting gun buybacks and supporting organizations committed to curbing this violence — we are taking every step possible to stop this violence and protect our families from harm. My office remains committed to ensuring that New Yorkers are safe, and we thank our partners in law enforcement for their shared commitment in this effort.”

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Today’s community gun buyback resulted in 98 guns being collected, including 53 handguns, 29 shotguns and rifles, 15 non-working or antique guns, and an assault rifle. Since 2013, OAG has hosted gun buyback events throughout New York state and has successfully collected more than 4,000 firearms.

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

“The gun buyback program is an innovative way residents can responsibly and safely dispose of unwanted firearms,” said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri. “I commend Attorney General James for coordinating this initiative as the city of Utica and our Police Department are supportive of this effort.”

Gun violence is a public health crisis that is plaguing communities throughout New York, and today’s 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 11 gun buybacks across the state, and has also secured dozens of dangerous firearms through takedowns of violent groups terrorizing New York. Last month, Attorney General James announced the takedown of two major drug trafficking rings in Central New York, in which 15 guns, including nine ghost guns, were seized. To date, Attorney General James has taken a total of nearly 2,100 guns out of communities since 2019.