Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced today the collection of 744 guns - including 255 revolvers, 175 semi-automatic pistols and 10 assault weapons - as part of the 2008 Manhattan Gun Buyback Program. The initiative, the first of its kind in the borough, gave a $200 bank card to people who surrendered a working firearm at five participating churches in Northern Manhattan. Additionally, functional BB guns and air pistols were exchanged for a $20 bank card. The program took place on Saturday, October 25th. "Our first gun buyback program in Manhattan was a tremendous success," Mr. Morgenthau said. "I am thankful to the ministers who opened their churches to get illegal guns off the city streets."
Commissioner Kelly said: "Six years ago, with crime on the decline, we started a Cash for Guns program to help get guns off of the streets. District Attorney Morgenthau and participating city churches put their faith in our efforts, and together we have realized the largest take to date in the church-drop gun buy-back. It's a remarkable return."
The program was sponsored jointly by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the NYPD.
Participating churches and their pastors, included:
Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 West 138th Street
Rev. Calvin O. Butts, III
Church of the Intercession, 550 West 155th Street
Rev. Nora Smith
Memorial Baptist Church, 141 West 115th Street
Rev. Renee Washington Gardner
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 447 East 115th Street
Father Tony Kelly
St. John Baptist Church, 459 West 152nd Street
Rev. John Scott