Attorney General James Announces 75 Guns Turned in at Watervliet Gun Buyback

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that 75 firearms were turned in at a community gun buyback event in Watervliet hosted by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Watervliet Police Department. This event was part of Attorney General James’ ongoing effort to combat gun violence and keep New Yorkers safe. In addition to the guns turned in at the Watervliet event, Attorney General James secured an additional 134 firearms from a community gun buyback event in Kingston, bringing the total number of guns secured today to 209. To date, Attorney General James has removed more than 7,200 guns from New York state since taking office in 2019.

“Gun buyback events are essential to getting dangerous weapons off of our streets and keeping our communities safe,” said Attorney General James. “Every firearm we recovered today was a potential tragedy prevented and a potential life saved. I thank the City of Watervliet’s Police Department and everyone who worked with my office on today’s event for their continued partnership in protecting New Yorkers from the scourge of gun violence.”

Table with a dozen firearms laying on it

Today’s buyback event in Watervliet resulted in 75 guns being turned in, including three assault weapons, 38 handguns, and 31 long guns. Following today’s gun buyback events held in Kingston and Watervliet, Attorney General James has helped remove more than 7,200 guns out of New York communities.

“I commend Attorney General James for her dedication to removing illegal and dangerous weapons of war from our streets,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “This gun buyback event provides Capital Region residents the opportunity to discard their firearms – no questions asked – and makes our communities safer.”

“Unwanted guns in our homes need to be disposed of safely,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III, RPh. “Events like this one curb gun violence by accepting firearms, with no questions asked, in exchange for compensation. We need to work together to combat our current crime challenges and make our streets safer. Thank you to Attorney General James and the local police departments who worked together to make this event happen.”

"Gun buyback programs aren't just about reclaiming firearms, they're about investing in safer communities where safety is the most valuable currency,” said Assemblymember Phil Steck. Today’s event is a significant step in the right direction. We need to continue removing dangerous weapons from our streets and ensuring our communities are safe. I’d like to thank Attorney General James for hosting today’s event, and everyone that turned in a firearm today.”

“The State Police is proud to partner with the New York State Attorney General's Office and the Watervliet Police Department on this initiative, with the shared goal of preventing senseless gun-involved tragedies and improving safety in our local communities,” said New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James. “Gun buyback programs can prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands, and are a complement to our overall strategy to reduce gun violence.”

"The gun buyback is set up to help keep city residents safe,” said Watervliet Mayor Charles Patricelli. “Guns may be turned in with no questions asked. Lives are often lost to senseless gun-related incidents. This program is set up to avert gun violence in our city. The goal of the gun buyback is to reduce the possibility of a gun falling in the wrong hands and we definitely accomplished that today."

“The Watervliet Gun Buyback Program has had a positive impact on removing firearms from our community which otherwise could be used to trigger accidental or intentional harm,” said Colonie Town Supervisor Peter G. Crummey.    

“Public safety is a top priority. By providing a safe way to turn in firearms, we are reducing the risk of gun violence,” said Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan. “Together, we can make a significant impact and create a safer environment for our residents.”   

"Empowering communities through voluntary gun buyback programs fosters safety, unity, and a future where every firearm turned in is a step towards peace,” said Village of Menands Mayor Brian Marsh. “This is one step in the long path towards protecting our neighbors, friends, and families lives from senseless violence. We are honored to participate in this relentless effort."    

“Cohoes is happy to partner with neighboring Watervliet and other local municipalities in this gun buyback program,” said Cohoes Mayor William T. Keeler. “It provides responsible gun owners an opportunity to get rid of unwanted firearms while receiving a fair price in exchange – all while making our communities safer by reducing potentially dangerous weapons should they otherwise fall into the wrong hands.”