125 guns collected at no-questions-asked buyback in Plattsburgh

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:58 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:21 AM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - New York Attorney General Letitia James wants to see fewer guns on the street. So, her office held a gun buyback program in Plattsburgh on Tuesday.

Inside the Crete Center, police took back guns with no questions asked.

“I knew I had the gun. It hadn’t been used in 10 years,” said Peter Yochum of Plattsburgh. “Not that it would harm anyone but it would be sitting in the closet another five years.”

Yochum walked away with $75 for his unwanted handgun. Others could, too, with the Gun Buyback Program, offering a gift card incentive of up to $250 per gun, depending on the model.

“Sometimes antiques to broken weapons that they are unsure of what to do with or weapons, in general, they no longer want to keep,” Plattsburgh Police Lt. Jarrod Trombley said.

The firearms are zip-tied after they’re collected, so they can’t be loaded or fired accidentally. The serial number is jotted down so law enforcement can make sure it’s not a stolen or missing weapon. And then it is sent to be melted down and destroyed.

“For me, anything that gets guns off the street and out of the hands of anyone but law enforcement, anyone who has a need to use them, is a good program. I’m glad to see it happen,” Yochum said.

Clinton County Sheriff Dave Favro says gun violence isn’t common in the county but gun cases are on the rise.

“To where they are possessing firearms and we are taking firearms off people from motor vehicles, drug deals and things of that nature. The increase in the weaponry certainly is out there, but fortunately, we have not seen a big increase in physical shootings,” Favro said.

Some 125 guns were collected over the three-hour buyback, but officers say the number isn’t as important as the opportunity.

“Focus on one. One gun off the street is a win in all of our minds,” Trombley said.

If you weren’t able to make it out to the buyback, law enforcement encourages you to call your local agency, and someone trained in firearms will come out and collect a weapon you want to get rid of. They say do not bring the firearm in your car and drive to the station.

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