Crime-fighters are once again putting their faith in the Kings County District Attorney’s office gun buy-back program.
This time Williamsburg is in their sights.
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes announced Wednesday that four churches in Williamsburg and Bushwick will open their doors Saturday to the buy-back program, which has so far been responsible for taking 1,100 firearms off the street.
The area churches, which includes Saints Peter and Paul, 71 South 3rd Street, Saint Barbara, 138 Bleeker Street, All Saints, 115 Throop Avenue and Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii, 225 Seigel Street, will be offering $200 bank cards to anyone who brings in a firearm on October 11 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The program, which is being supported by the NYPD, Assemblymember Vito Lopez and State Senator Martin Malave Dilan and a host of local religious leaders, is funded by the police and drug forfeiture money collected by Brooklyn prosecutors.
Once collected, the weapons traded in for the $200 bank card – which could be brought to an ATM for easy cash or used as a credit card at local stores – will undergo ballistic tests to see if they were involved in any crimes.
They will then be melted down and reborn as wire hangers, Hynes explained.
“The success of this program goes a long way toward reducing violent crime,” Hynes said. “Every gun that is taken off the street could lead to one less robbery, assault or murder.”
Hynes said that the churches participating in the program show their “commitment to getting guns off the streets and making Brooklyn a safer place.”
Besides the pistols, rifles and shotguns that prosecutors are expected to collect, the D.A.’s office has also offered $20 bank cards for any functional BB guns that are brought into any of the four churches.
The D.A.’s first gun buy-back day took place in July, when 697 guns were collected in Fort Greene, Crown Heights and other nearby neighborhoods
An additional 411 guns were collected in Flatbush, Canarsie and Coney Island during a second gun buy-back day in September.