Ithaca (WSYR-TV) -- Dozens of guns – some of them illegal – are off the streets of Central New York and in the hands of police. The guns were given up voluntarily as part of Ithaca and Tompkins County’s first ever gun buy back program.
Nearly 150 guns in all, including semi-automatic handguns, shotguns and assault-type rifles were taken off the streets during the gun buy back program this past weekend. Officials say they took in three times more guns than expected.
“To get guns like that, that can produce a lot of death very quickly, it’s just a bonus to get them off the streets,” said Ithaca Police Public Information Officer Jamie Williamson told NewsChannel 9.
Anyone who dropped off a gun with Ithaca Police or the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday got up to $200 per gun and was guaranteed immunity from any possible charges.
While only a small portion of the guns turned in were likely illegal, all the guns will be destroyed and melted down.
The city of Syracuse has seen its fair share of violence involving illegal guns. Gun control advocate and Mayor, Stephanie Miner, hopes the state is next to act by reforming the entire system.
"Sometimes these things have a life of their own and I think we're at a critical point where not only in New York State, but in the U.S. that we see far too many mass tragedies happen and if that's what it's taken to try to get some positive out of those, than that's what it takes,” said Mayor Stephanie Miner.
You can expect gun control to be a major topic of Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address on Wednesday, including a call for a new ban on assault-style rifles and high capacity clips for bullets. Senate Republicans did offer a gun control plan this weekend, but it didn’t include a ban on assault-style weapons. It was promptly dismissed by the governor for not going far enough.