Over the weekend, Michael "Blue" Williams' "Guns for Greatness” gun buyback program held its first exchange event in Brooklyn. According to reports from the NYPD, the program was successful in getting 115 weapons off the streets. With just under a week to prepare for the inaugural event, Williams and his team can count the program an early success.
As previously reported, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly approved the buyback plan on March 25. Taking place last Saturday (March 30), gun owners were lured by the promise of tickets to the upcoming concerts of Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and the joint Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z show in exchange for firearms. A large part the guns were turned in by Black and Latino males, which served as the main target demographic for “Guns for Greatness.”
A tally of the weapons include 55 revolvers, 33 semi-automatic handguns, nine rifles, five shotguns, four rifles, one assault rifle and a collection of BB guns and starter pistols. Similar “guns for cash” programs have been popping up nationwide, especially in neighborhoods and cities ravaged by violence. Recently in New Jersey, the cities of Camden and Trenton set records with 1,137 and 2,600 guns collected respectively. In Los Angeles, one man showed up at a gun buyback event last December with 22 pistols alone.
A press conference with Commissioner Kelly and Williams will take place this evening. “Guns for Greatness” partners will also be in attendance as well.
To get connected with the “Guns for Greatness” program, please follow this link.
Check out some of the guns that were dropped off at Brooklyn's Christian Cultural Center this weekend. Also, check out photos from other successful NYC gun buyback program events.
Photos: Anthony Delmundo/New York Daily News/Sam Hodgson/Reuters/Aaron Showalter/New York Daily News