A total of 185 guns are off the streets thanks to the efforts of the Peekskill Police Department during their annual Gun Buyback Event.
The event, held Saturday, Sept. 15 at the United Methodist Church, was designed to get unwanted and/or unsecured guns off the street and out of people’s homes, according to Peekskill Chief of Police Donald Halmy.
Out of the 185 guns turned in, 97 were handguns, two assault rifles, and 86 were shotguns and rifles. All of the guns, from the smallest to the largest, had the same thing in common, they were unwanted and were potentially deadly in the wrong hands, Halmy added.
Although this program was “no questions asked”, many people were eager to talk about the guns. A recurring sentiment from many of the participants was how they never felt comfortable having a gun in a shoebox somewhere, or in a dresser or a closet, easily accessible to someone who may find it, he added.
Others said they had young children in the house and did not feel comfortable keeping it any longer.
"Whatever the reason, every little bit helps when it comes to making the city of Peekskill a safer place and we believe we accomplished that this past weekend," he said.
The department said the buyback event was made possible by the hard work of Peekskill Deputy Mayor Kathleen Talbot, and the council, along with Louie Lanza and John Sharpe who graciously hosted a fundraiser at the River Outpost Brewery.
The fundraiser, which was staffed by volunteer members of the Peekskill Police Benevolent Association, raised an amazing $15,000 in June.
"Without the help of Mr. Lanza and Mr. Sharpe, as well as the PBA, we would have recovered a mere fraction of the guns we actually received," the chief said. "We’d also like to thank all the people who showed up at the fundraiser to support us and all the many donors, like the Ginsberg Development Corp, who generously donated to this cause."
The chief also thanked the United Methodist Church of Peekskill and the Rev. Carlos Figueroa Colombani for their support.
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