Guns down! Police buy $15,000 worth of hot metal

More than 80 guns were sold to the NYPD during Saturday’s gun buy-back program at an East Flatbush Church.
Source: NYPD

It was a street firearm free-for-all.

It was black Saturday!

It was your chance to get cash for that gun you’ve been holding onto since, well, since you can’t say.

So Brooklynites sold more than 80 firearms to the NYPD on Nov. 12 during a special, no-questions-asked gun buying event that saw the city shell out a total of $15,200 to residents eager to be relieved of their firearms.

Police say residents brought in 49 revolvers, 20 semi-automatic handguns, three rifles and four shotguns to the Temple Assembly of God on Church Avenue near E. 45th Street in East Flatbush, and left the house of worship with $200 bankcards for each weapon surrendered. On top of that, more than a half dozen BB-guns, zip guns, and flare guns were also sold to cops — for $20 apiece.

Investigators are expected to conduct ballistic tests on the weapons, which officials say will then be melted down and turned into less harmful wire hangers (which, by the way, can be used to break into cars).

“We didn’t get anything outlandish like an Uzi, but we’re happy to get any gun off the street that’s capable of discharging ammunition,” said Inspector Charles Scholl, interim commanding officer of the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush. “People from all over brought in weapons, so the whole borough benefited.”

The event was sponsored by the NYPD, District Atorney Charles Hynes, and Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush).

Hynes said that nearly 2,000 guns have been taken off Brooklyn streets since 2008, when the city began offering amnesty — and cash — to gun owners.

“[This is] an effective and sensible way to prevent criminals from getting their hands on these weapons, which can wound, maim or kill innocent people,” Hynes said.

Police collected 70 firearms during a similar buy back event in June. An additional 287 firearms were recovered during a similar 2010 initiative involving six churches.

Despite this, shootings continue to rise in southern Brooklyn: as of Nov. 6, 223 shootings have taken place in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South — which stretches from Canarsie to Carroll Gardens — 28 more than at the same time last November.

Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at ttracy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2525.

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