Gun Buyback Program a Huge Success

August 19, 2012 Updated Aug 20, 2012 at 7:10 AM EDT

By WKBW Admin

August 19, 2012 Updated Aug 20, 2012 at 7:10 AM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Buffalo is a little bit safer, thanks in part to a gun buyback program that took more than 700 guns off the streets.

People throughout Western New York traded in 746 guns and ammunition for cash cards at seven different drop off locations throughout the Queen City.

It's the second largest gun collection effort in the program's history.

Mayor Byron Brown says it's so successful because "the community feels more comfortable, they know when we mean no questions asked, we mean no questions asked."

This one day a year, guns turned in are destroyed and not tested or traced back to any crimes. Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says that's a part of the bigger picture because "they're off the streets, they're not in the hands of criminals and they won't be used to harm anyone else. And we can work the cases up without the guns."

It isn't just the big, powerful weapons that are dangerous. The buyback program targeted BB guns and antique weapons as well. They have been used in crimes, and because they look so real, have lead to deadly shootings.

This year's program rounded up 294 non-working weapons, 254 handguns, 193 rifles and five assault weapons.

The buyback program reached farther than ever before -- people dropped off weapons from the suburbs of Western New York. Teenagers even came in to drop off illegal weapons.

Those who traded guns in for cash cards are urged to use those cash cards at a place of purchase and not at an ATM to avoid extra fees.