By Alberto Gilman
Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson (D-104) and The City of Newburgh Police Department hosted the ‘Gun Buyback’ event on Sunday, December 19, at 104 South Lander Street in the City of Newburgh . City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey, Police Chief Anthony Geraci, Police Commissioner Jose Gomerez, Councilwoman Elect Giselle Martinez joined Jacobson and other city officers as individuals came in to turn in firearms.
“It’s just so great to get these guns off the street. Every gun we can get off the street the better it is. I have been pushing to see what we can do to stem the pipeline from down south that comes up Route 95 and into the northeast,” Jacobson said. “It’s so important to get the guns off the street and to make every place safer.”
Interstate 95, runs along the East Coast from the state of Florida into Maine. In the Tri-State area, it passes through areas such as the City of Newark, New Jersey, the Bronx and New Rochelle, which are just over an hour south of the Hudson Valley region. “It’s a little bit concerning to know that all these guns are out there but we do really appreciate the response,” Gomerez said. “Lo importante es remover esas armas de fuego de la mano de nuestros niños jóvenes (The important thing is to remove these firearms from the hands of our young children).”
“Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, who’s a great partner to the City of Newburgh, he’s been very instrumental in many things and this is one of his initiatives,” Harvey said. On Friday, November 19, Harvey called for action in the city during a press conference in response to gun violence and an incident involving several Newburgh youth in a shooting. Efforts such as this are part of that call to action, said Harvey. “Gun violence is a multifaceted thing and it has to have a multifaceted approach,” Harvey said. Harvey extends his thanks as well to Senator James Skoufis for his efforts to help with funding for the police department. Harvey also wanted to thank the first responders, doctors and all medical staff in the trauma center/unit and elsewhere at Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital who saved the lives of those who were shot.
Individuals entered the event and made their way to a station where they handed over their weapon, unloaded in plastic or paper, no questions asked, no identification required as city officers recorded serial numbers and the type of firearm it was classified as. Individuals brought in either one or multiple firearms to turn in and the amnesty would still apply. Guns were required to be unloaded before entering the building. In a release about the event, if a gun was being transported by a vehicle, it must be driven in the trunk and unloaded as well.
In the release, the various amounts for guns returned were listed as followed: handguns were $500, assault weapons were $300, modified rifles/shotguns were $150, rifles were $100 and antique/non-working guns were $50.
After turning in the guns, individuals would make their way over to another station to collect gift cards in those amounts that would be given by an officer. The release stated that gift cards from BJs and Walmart were given in the various listed amounts. Once collected, the individuals would make their way out the door and return home.