Brooklyn DA, NYPD to host gun buyback in Clinton Hill

gun buyback
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is teaming up with the NYPD to host a gun buyback, like the one pictured here, in Clinton Hill on Saturday, May 21.
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office

Brooklyn’s top prosecutor and New York’s Finest are teaming up to host the borough’s second gun buyback of the year this weekend, where those who return their firearms can get up to $600 for helping to get guns off the street.

“As we redouble our efforts to keep our communities safe, we will be hosting another Gun Buyback event this Saturday – just one part of a comprehensive strategy to get firearms off the streets,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzales, in a statement. “I encourage anyone who has a gun at home to take advantage of this opportunity, safely turn it in, and get some cash and an iPad in return.”

The gun buyback will be held on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at Emmanuel Baptist Church on 279 Lafayette Ave. in Clinton Hill, and will be the DA’s second such event of the year to increase his office’s investment in safety ahead of the city’s violence-prone summer months.

“Every gun that we get off our streets is a gun that will never be used to harm another New Yorker,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell in a statement. “This Gun Buyback event is one more component of our continuous effort to keep the people of New York City safe, and I want to thank the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in this important program — and for their steadfast commitment to the people of Brooklyn.”

Brooklyn DA and police officer at gun buyback
New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, and NYPD Chief Judith Harrison at a previous gun buyback event in Brownsville in 2021. Gonzalez said these events are a critical part of keeping dangerous and illegal guns off of New York City streets. File photo by Gabrielle Holtermann

The church’s pastor said that programs like this are especially crucial in preventing racial attacks like the deadly May 15 shooting at Tops grocery store in Buffalo.

“As the Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, I am glad to partner with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, Law Enforcement, and the larger community to work to reduce gun violence,” said Rev. Anthony L. Trufant in a statement. “Public safety and quality of life issues are an urgent priority. Recent events in Buffalo at a supermarket and Laguna Woods at a Taiwanese church remind us that this is not merely a local matter, nor a primarily ‘Black thing,’ as the mainstream media suggests.”

Shooting incidents are down slightly citywide and in Clinton Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods, according to NYPD data, with gun crimes down 25 percent in the Brooklyn North patrol as compared to May 2022.  Still, Mayor Eric Adams and Sewell sent a letter to federal regulations authorities asking them to crack down on untraceable “ghost guns” last week, lamenting a significant increase of the number of those firearms the NYPD has confiscated in the last few years.

Gun owners who turn in operable handguns and assault rifles will receive $200 for each gun, and iPads will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis, according to the DA’s office. Participants who bring operable shotguns, rifles or airguns will receive $25 for each firearm, with a $600 cap per person. A buyback event in January collected approximately 40 guns.

The guns are turned in anonymously with no identification required, and participants will receive their bank cards once the guns are received and screened on site by officers.

Firearms should be packaged in a plastic bag, paper or a box, and must be unloaded to be turned in, the DA’s office said. If transported to the event by car, the gun should be in the trunk. 

Former law enforcement officers and licensed arms dealers are not eligible to participate in the gun buyback event.