NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — State numbers show the crime rate in Niagara Falls is one of the highest in the state. Coordinator of the Niagara Falls peacemakers, Ezra Scott Jr., said he wants to see this change.
“Just asking people to wake up to what’s going on and realize that we all play our part to reduce violence in our communities,” Scott said.
“Our young people have just come out of school for the summer, and I’m just concerned about the increase of violence,” Pastor at St. John AME Church, Reverend Makeeda Brookes said.
According to the 2020 county crime index, the crime rate in the county is over 4,700 per 100,000, almost three times the state average. Now the New York attorney general’s office is collaborating with the Niagara Falls police department for a gun buyback.
“By removing guns, it also creates the awareness that there needs to be a culture change within the community,” Scott said.
In a statement to channel 7 Attorney General Letitia James said, “taking guns off our streets is essential to preserving public safety,” and she is “encouraging individuals to turn in any unwanted firearms.”
You can get anywhere from $25 to $250 for turning in a gun. The buyback will accept non-working or antique guns, rifles, shotguns, handguns and assault rifles. Scott said he thinks the event will help educate the community.
“That’s where you get everyone understanding the importance and also a critical piece to working and changing,” Scott said.
The event will be on July 10 at St. John AME church.
“It provides a safe space for people to know, it’s a safe space for people to come to where they can drop off guns, that they can come here and know that there’s support in all aspects,” Brookes said.
If you are going to bring a gun, there are a few things to know, be sure it is unloaded, in a bag or box and you can bring as many as you’d like, no questions asked and no id necessary. The only people who are not eligible are licensed gun dealers and active or retired law enforcement.