Updated 04/14/2009 07:44 PM
Gun Buyback Program To Be Held At Bronx Churches
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The New York City Police Department is bringing its gun buyback program to the Bronx.
Six churches are planning to host events on April 25th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in an effort to get guns off the streets.
People can hand over their working, unloaded or loaded weapons to plain-clothed officers in exchange for a $200 bank card, no questions asked.
"What we're doing here is going to save lives because each gun turned is no longer a threat to our community," said Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson at a news conference Tuesday.
The Bronx has seen a recent rise in shootings, coupled with a decline in gun arrests.
NYPD records show that between 2007 and 2008, there was an 8.5 percent increase in shootings. But gun arrests fell 13.2 percent during that same period.
"We are not satisfied with any shootings occurring on our streets," Johnson said. "We're not satisfied with people walking around the streets with illegal loaded handguns. And that's what this effort is about."
NYPD retooled the gun buyback program last fall, organizing a series of one-day events at churches to make participants, who stay anonymous, more comfortable.
"Just put them in a paper bag and bring them to the church sites," said Douglas Ziegler, the chief of NYPD Community Affairs. "We will do the unloading. We will examine the guns. Certainly we don't want anyone to get injured."
Once the guns are dropped off, they'll be melted down, and eventually turned into wire hangers.
Since the fall, the NYPD says it has collected 3,500 guns.
"It's a drop in the bucket, but you know what, the world gets changed by one person and one incident at a time," said Deacon Victor B. Tosi of the Immaculate Conception Church.
Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church
607 Melrose Avenue
Between 150th and 151st Streets
Bronx, NY 10455
Miracle Revival Temple
1555 Macombs Road
Between West Mount Eden Avenue and Goble Place
Bronx, NY 10452
Immaculate Conception Church
754 East Gun Hill Road
Between Holland Avenue and Capuchin Way
Bronx, NY 10467
The New Gospel Temple, Church of God in Christ
1554 Minford Place
Off Boston Road at 173rd Street
Bronx, NY 10460
Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church
600 Soundview Avenue
Corner of Randall and Soundview Avenues
Bronx, NY 10473
Community Protestant Church
1659 East Gun Hill Road
Between Gunther and Tiemann Avenues
Bronx, NY 10469