Attorney General’s Office holds Gun Buy Back program in Elmira

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — For the first time, the Elmira Police Department hosted a gun buy back event in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office. The event attempts to lower the number of illegal firearms on the streets.

The event was at the City of Light Church from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 28. After just 20 minutes, they collected 30 handguns and an AK-47 assault rifle. (The total number of firearms collected will be released in the future.)

Michael Danaher, Jr., assistant attorney general – Binghamton office, explained how this program has been successful across the state.

Most recently, 49 guns were collected in Albany County and 84 firearms were collected in Rome, New York.

Anthony Alvernaz, police chief for the City of Elmira, said the goal is to safely dispose of guns.

“The theory is that if you take illegal weapons out of the hands of people that should not be possessing them, there will be a lower opportunity for those weapons to be used on the streets of Elmira,” said Alvernaz. “[This] would obviously lower the chances of having gun violence and shots fired calls.”

So far, Elmira Police have responded to over 70 reports of shots fired in 2021.

Alvernaz reaffirmed that this is a theory. He said he will be looking into the practicality and usefulness of an event like this one.

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