Updated: 10/04/2013 5:24 PM
Created: 10/04/2013 6:33 AM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
The goal was to get dangerous guns off the streets of the city. So was last weekend's gun buyback program a success? Organizers and police showed all of the guns that were turned in which totaled more than 200. But are the streets any safer now?
News10NBC has heard from critics in the past who say these gun buy backs are a nice gesture, but criminal aren't the ones who stop by and turn in their guns. That said, organizers of last weekend's southwest gun buyback say any one of the guns they had on the display had the potential to get into the wrong hands.
A total of 244 guns were turned: 150 handguns, 89 longs and 3 antique guns as well as ammunition. Four of the guns recovered had been reported stolen and less than 10 were on someone's valid permit. The guns were turned in, no questions asked, so they won't be tested by ballistics to determine if any of them had been used in a violent crime. Instead, all of these guns will be melted down.
News10NBC asked the police chief if he thinks this will do anything to keep people safe.
Brett Davidsen said, “Chief, you eluded to some of the criticisms of these gun buy backs and there are some who question whether they are effective in actually lowering crime. Based on the types of guns you see here that were turned in, do you think this actually made the streets safer?
Chief James Sheppard, Rochester Police, said, "I can say this, as you look at some of these weapons and take the sawed-off weapons. You know, that's not a weapon somebody was using as a sport item, and so that tells me that it's sawed off for a reason. It's sawed to be concealed and illegal possessed and illegally carried. So for me, that is significant in terms of having some impact."
Those who dropped off guns got debit cards valued at between $50 and $100 dollars, depending on the type of weapon. Organizers say they paid out about $16,000, money that funded by the state attorney general's office.