Gun Buyback A Success

By Michelle Costanza

January 7, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 12:53 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The city of Ithaca is calling their gun buyback program a success.

In light of the recent gun-related tragedies across the country, the Ithaca Police Department decided that they had both an opportunity and an obligation to keep the community as safe as possible.

The gun buyback program took place this Saturday, with people driving as far as Canadaigua and Greene, NY to voluntarily surrender their firearms.

The process took only about two minutes for each participant. People were asked to remain in their cars while officers removed the firearms from their trunks. Minimal information was gathered about the weapons, and people were only asked to identify themselves for accounting purposes.

The program was not funded by taxpayer money, but by a private donation.

Residents were promised both amnesty and immunity when surrendering the guns, even if they were illegal or unsecured.

Almost 150 guns were turned in, including a chrome-plated semi-automatic handgun, two assault-type rifles, and an illegal shotgun.

Most residents were very happy with the program, saying that it is a win-win situation for everybody.

"This program was not about the second amendment at all, it was really just an effort to help our streets become safer now and in the long run. These guns are taken off the streets forever," said Officer Jamie Williamson.

The guns will be split apart and melted down to scrap metal.

Officers say that an unsecured gun is just as dangerous as an illegal gun, because they often get into the wrong hands.

The Ithaca Police Department will soon be offering free gun locks to the public to ensure the safety of gun owners and their families.

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