SPRINGFIELD GARDENS, Queens — Gun violence in New York City is reaching epidemic proportions.
Just on Friday alone. there was a shooting in every single borough.
On Saturday, in partnership between Queens DA Melinda Katz, Attorney General Letitia James and the NYPD, officials touted a gun buy back program that helped get 79 guns off the street.
“Seventy-nine guns that will no longer hurt children, hurt senior citizens, hurt individuals that are innocently walking the streets of New York City,” said New York State AG James.
She adds that gun buy back programs help to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and make neighborhoods safer.
“I’m sick and tired of going to funerals, sick and tired of holding mothers and fathers before open caskets,” James said.
She also pointed to the recent shooting that claimed the life of 10-year-old Queens boy Justin Wallace.
Police say the gunman randomly fired into a Far Rockaway home because he was angry over the use of a shared driveway.
“Justin Wallace, just 10 years old, there is something unnatural about a parent burying their child,” said James
All sorts of guns were turned in. Rifles, handguns even semi-automatic weapons.
“Words can’t really express what this means when you look at this many guns on this table,” said NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey
The buyback program was anonymous and people who turned them in received either a $200 cash card or an iPad.
Katz says a lot of the guns that make their way into city neighborhoods and ultimately fall into the wrong hands, come from other states with lax gun laws.
She pointed to a recent undercover sting that netted 23 illegal guns.
“We actually busted up a gun ring hunting, they were buying the guns in Virginia they were taking up the iron pipe line and they were selling them to our children in Queens County,” Katz noted.
People were allowed to turn in as many guns as they wanted but were only able to collect a total of $600 bucks.