Victory over Violence: PIX11 Partners with NY State Senator Malcolm Smith to Create Gun Buyback Program
Station to Play a Key Role in Helping Rid City Streets of Guns
PIX11 has partnered with State Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) in a gun buyback program to help rid the city’s streets of weapons.
The P-3 Gun Buyback program is a private partnership that uses money from the private public sector to buy guns and get them off the street. Senator Smith and PIX11 contributor Wally Zeins, a retired NYPD Detective Sergeant, through his work with the New York City Police Foundation, led the fundraising effort for the upcoming August 18 gun buyback, raising more than $70,000 in public and private funds. Anyone who brings in an operational gun will be paid up to $200 in the form of a gift card–no questions asked.
The buyback will be held on August 18, from 10am to 4pm, at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens. The location was chosen by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly because the church is in the 113th Precinct, an area with the highest number of shootings in the city, according to Senator Smith.
Throughout the month, PIX11, as the media partner, has aired a series of segments on gun violence, reaction from community leaders, block watchers and had conversations with families affected by violence.
“Illegal guns and fatal shootings is the defining story of this summer across the country and here in New York City. The anchors, reporters and newsroom staff of PIX11 News have stepped up and taken a leadership position in combating this problem, and we are proud to be the official media sponsor and use our newscasts to help fight back,” said Bill Carey, PIX11 News Director.
The buyback initiative comes during a spike in gun violence, in which small children have been caught in crossfire. According to the NYPD, as of July 29, 1,012 people have been shot so far this year in the 5 boroughs, which is an 8.4 percent increase for the same time period in 2011. Out of the total number of shootings, 147 were fatal.