Tonawanda News

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February 24, 2013

City's first-ever gun buy-back program gets more than 100 weapons off the street

Gun buy-back gets weapons off the street

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Tonawanda News — Scary guns were turned in, including several shotguns with sawed off barrels and stocks which are signs of concealment, perfect for committing violent crimes, the mayor said. Some even had serial numbers filed off, indicating illegal status.

Faso said most of the weapons taken in were capable of becoming deadly.

“One of the knocks on this program has been that events like this only take in junk,” he said. “That non-working guns are all we’re going to get. But out of all of the (hundreds) of guns we’ve seen, only one of them was not working. And we got some pretty decent assault rifles.”

Of the more than 100 handguns, rifles, shotguns and other firearms taken in at the event, the police department will scour through all of them to ensure they’re all legal guns. If for some reason the department comes across one reported stolen, Faso said the owners would be contacted and have the weapon returned to them for them to make a decision about the firearm.

“Every gun is going to be run by our CSU unit,” Faso said. “The department will make every effort to contact the original owners about the guns if they were reported stolen.”

The buyback, which was held at the Niagara Falls Fire Department station at 11th Street and Ontario Avenue Saturday, was supported by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Local groups like MAD DADS supported the event, while the Block Club Council provided free gun locks to anyone who needed one. Police also offered a free gun safety class.

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