NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) – State figures show that the crime rate in Niagara Falls is one of the highest in the state. Niagara Falls Peacemakers Coordinator Ezra Scott Jr. said he wanted to see this change.
“I’m just asking people to be aware of what’s going on and realize that we are all playing our part to reduce violence in our communities,” Scott said.
“Our kids are just out of school for the summer, and I’m just concerned about the increase in violence,” said St. John AME Church pastor, Reverend Makeeda Brookes.
According to the 2020 County Crime Index, the county’s crime rate is over 4,700 per 100,000, nearly three times the state average. Now the New York Attorney General’s Office is working with the Niagara Falls Police Department on a gun buyback.
“By removing the guns, it also creates awareness that there has to be a culture change within the community,” Scott said.
In a statement to Channel 7, Attorney General Letitia James said that “removing guns from our streets is essential to preserve public safety”, and she “encourages individuals to return any unwanted firearms”.
You can get between $ 25 and $ 250 for returning a gun. The buyback will accept non-functional or old firearms, rifles, shotguns, handguns and assault rifles. Scott said he thinks the event will help educate the community.
“This is where everyone understands the importance and also a critical part of working and changing,” Scott said.
The event will take place July 10 at St. John AME Church.
“It’s a safe space for people to know, it’s a safe space for people to come where they can lay down their weapons, that they can come here and know that there is support in all aspects. “said Brookes.
If you are planning on bringing a gun there are a few things to know, make sure it is unloaded, in a bag or box and you can bring as many as you want, no questions asked or ID required. The only people who are not eligible are active or retired gun dealers and law enforcement.