KINGSTON – New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that 235 firearms were turned in at a community gun buyback event hosted by her office, the Kingston Police Department, and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office. This event — the largest gun buyback hosted by the Office of the Attorney General in the Hudson Valley — was part of Attorney General James’ historic effort to hold nine simultaneous gun buyback events on the same day in communities throughout the state. Including the guns turned in at the Kingston event, Attorney General James secured more than 3,000 guns today alone from across the state. To date, Attorney General James has removed more than 7,000 guns from New York communities since taking office in 2019.
“Gun violence has caused so many avoidable tragedies and robbed us of so many innocent New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James. “Through our partnership with local law enforcement and public officials, we were able to organize this historic, single-day gun buyback event in nine locations throughout New York state. Every gun that we removed out of Kingston homes and off the streets is a potential tragedy averted and another step in protecting communities throughout New York state.”
The statewide gun buyback resulted in the collection of more than 3,000 guns, including 185 assault rifles, 1,656 handguns, and 823 long guns. These figures include the 235 guns collected from the Kingston event, which included 15 assault rifles, 120 handguns, and 60 long guns. Altogether, Attorney General James has removed more than 7,000 from New York communities since taking office in 2019.
“Gun violence is a nationwide epidemic, one which has claimed far too many victims in Ulster County,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “We must take a multifaceted approach to this crisis, and every illegal, unwanted, or improperly secured firearm that we can remove from our community helps make us safer. Thank you to Attorney General James and her staff, along with the Sheriff’s Office and Kingston Police Department, for hosting this important event.”
“I want to thank the Attorney General, the City of Kingston Police Department, and our community leaders in their effort to get guns off the streets,” said Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa. “Gun buyback programs are paired with gun safety in an effort to reduce the illegal use of guns.”
“I want to thank the Attorney General’s Office for their investment in the safety of Kingston and their ongoing efforts to end gun violence in our community,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. “These initiatives are known to remove guns from the community and potentially save lives. We had a very successful Gun Buyback event in 2022, and I look forward to working with Attorney General Letitia James’ team again to get even more firearms off the streets with this year’s event.”
“As police officers, we see firsthand the impact that programs like the Gun Buyback can have locally in crime reduction,” said Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti. “We thank the Attorney General’s Office for hosting this event in Kingston and appreciate the support of New York state’s highest law enforcement agency. I look forward to collaborating with the Attorney General’s Office and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office in this crime reduction effort.”
“Gun violence is a pervasive public health crisis, but gun buyback programs are an important tool in our toolbox that help make our streets safer,” said State Senator Michelle Hinchey. “I’m grateful to Attorney General Letitia James for collaborating with the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and Kingston Police Department to bring this community-led event to Kingston, creating a trusted space for our residents to get unwanted guns off the streets. We will continue to elevate every solution possible to make Kingston and New York a safer place for everyone.”
“We applaud Attorney General Letitia James for continuing to take proactive steps to keep our communities safe,” said Shari Maurer, Volunteer, New York Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “New York is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to a multi-faceted approach to saving lives and we look forward to continuing to partner with her office and lawmakers to keep New York a national leader in the gun safety movement.”
“New York continues to be a national leader in smart, effective gun laws. And as a result, it has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country — 63% below the national average,” said David Pucino, Deputy Chief Counsel, Giffords Law Center. “Attorney General James’s leadership has been critical to New York’s success in fighting gun violence, but there is more work to do. This weekend’s buyback will get more potentially dangerous guns off the streets. And while we can never know whose lives will be saved by this initiative, we know fewer families will be victimized by gun violence. Thank you to everyone who made this happen.”