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Mar 3, 2010 3:10 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County announces handgun buy-back program

Mar 3, 2010 3:10 PM

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s office is now offering gift cards to those who turn in illegal handguns.

Community members who are in possession of illegal handguns will be able to surrender their weapons, no questions asked, in exchange for a Visa gift card. The program, funded through a grant from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, does not have an official termination date and will run until county funds for this initiative are exhausted.

Legal handguns, long guns, rifles, BB and pellet guns are not part of this program, but will be accepted for destruction without compensation.

The illegal handguns can be turned in between 5 and 7 p.m. on the following days at these police headquarters: Mondays at the East Hampton Police Department on Wainscott Northwest Road; Tuesdays at the Southampton Village Police Department on Windmill Lane; Wednesdays at the Shelter Island Police Department on North Ferry Road; Thursdays at the Southold Town Police Department on Route 25A; and Fridays at the Riverhead Town Police Department on Howell Avenue.

The Sheriff’s Office Pistol License Bureau, located on Center Drive in Riverhead, will also accept firearms Monday through Friday and between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Call 852-2233 to obtain more information on the program.

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Were I in possession of an illegal handgun, there are two questions that I would like answered.

First, how many $$ are on the Visa Gift Card? $100? $1000?

Secondly, is anonymity guaranteed? How?

There may be no questions asked, but one is sure all hell going to be captured on video.

Without specifying answers to these questions, the buy-back program will be a failure.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 20, 10 5:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
Do your own homework and read up on these kinds of plans. They DO work, in vurtually every locale they have been utilized.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Jan 22, 10 11:53 AM
Buy-backs work. In fact they have been extremely successful in a number of places. I agree with Terry, do some homework. It takes nothing more than a quick google search to find a number of success stories.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jan 22, 10 3:42 PM
your points of view are excellent and well taken.....another tpyical screw-up by a government agency.........will they ever get anything right............like the evil people don't have that figured out......
By paulgabe1 (29), riverhead on Jan 28, 10 10:43 AM
How is anonymity not guaranteed? If you hand in a gun a no one asks you your name, it would seem the answer is obvious.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 18, 10 2:28 PM
The devil is in the details.

This news article was an opportunity for the Sheriff's office to advertise their program, together with the circumstances under which the buy-back would occur. Since it is aimed only at ILLEGAL handguns, anyone taking advantage of it would be committing a crime right up until the moment that the handgun is out of his possession.

Under those circumstances, failure to state the amount of money for which the handgun will be purchased but, more importantly, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 22, 10 10:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
They do work, to a small extent. Hardened criminals, unstable individuals, or others that are more prone to using them intentionally for illegal purposes or who might use them without due consideration (domestic violence situations) rarely turn them in, and those are the guns that make the news. Most of the individuals that turn them in are otherwise law-abiding and would not use them illegally save for the possession itself. Widows whose husbands kept one for protection without a permit, for ...more
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Jan 25, 10 5:33 PM
I think its a great idea but will only work so well as many people will not go into a police dept. It would be more successful if held on some neutral location like a church or community center.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jan 26, 10 6:56 AM
This program is doomed to failure because 1. In Nassau County the buy back programs take place at a church and pay 200.00 per hand gun and 2. Who in their right mind would show up in a police station with an illegal hand gun ? And for 50.00 which is the amount I read today in Newsday.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Jan 26, 10 6:24 PM
Fifty dollars or two hundred dollars-- Buyback programs have worked in other places. The price tag is low compared to the value of lives saved.
By Montaukette (46), Waterland on Feb 12, 10 12:19 AM
It would be nice if the Sheriffs department would set a date upon which it would announce the number of illegal firearms it has collected, displaying the firearms themselves and the circumstances of their purchase. We could then decide if this was a fruitful effort or an ill-conceived attempt to make use of free, (grant), money that couldn't be otherwise spent.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 13, 10 8:44 AM
That is a very good point. I don't know if the sheriff cares wether or not we think his program is or is not fruitful, it seems he is after P.R. But a good point nonetheless.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 18, 10 2:32 PM
LOL, no criminal with an illegal handgun is going to turn up at a POLICE DEPARTMENT to hand it over for a few bucks.

By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Feb 16, 10 5:58 PM
March 4:

I guess that this story is back in the news because the locations where illegal guns can be turned in has been added(?)

Nevertheless, it still omits the most important details: How much money will be disbursed per gun, and how will anonymity be guaranteed.

Nor does it include an update as to how effective the program has been to date.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Mar 4, 10 4:29 PM
We are approaching two months in the buy-back program. Time for the Press to contact the SC Sheriffs Department and find out how many tons of guns they have received.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Mar 13, 10 3:03 PM