After the shooting of two cops this year and a fatal shooting two weeks ago, the Lower East Side will hold its first gun buyback this Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Rutgers Houses community center on Madison Street. Gunslingers looking to make some cash can trade in handguns for $200 and rifles or shotguns for $20.
Similar buyback programs have made a dent in the number of guns on the streets before: Bushwick's September buyback yielded 85 weapons, while in August Queens bought back 500 guns, including a Tec-9 and AK-47 assault rifle. Over 8,200 guns have been recovered since the buyback program began.
After the two officers were shot this year, LES residents called for a similar program in their neighborhood, reports the Post. "It should have been here a long time ago," said a retired drug counselor who heard gun shots ring throughout the neighborhood. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who penned a letter to Ray Kelly requesting the buyback program, said: "Ridding our streets of guns is a crucial part of our effort to make our neighborhood safer for everyone."
Sunday's buyback will be hosted by Speaker Silver and the Manhattan District Attorney's office. At press time, it was unclear how much they're willing to cough up for a cannon.