Sharpton and NYPD Team Up to Buy Back Guns

City Hall can't decide if it wants you to have guns or not! Police commissioner Ray Kelly and Reverend Al Sharpton had a press conference today, announcing a gun buyback program to take illegal guns off the streets...just weeks after Mayor Michael Bloomberg slashed the fee for a gun permit from $340 to between $25 and $110.

The Daily News says the buyback program, which will take place at a church in Harlem, will offer $1,000 to anyone who "anonymously" calls in with the location of an illegal firearm (although it doesn't quite explain how an "anonymous" tipster can expect to collect his finder's fee...).

People who turn in guns in person will get a $200 cash card.

Shootings, incidentally, are up this year (by 4 percent, the News says) and the majority of victims -- 73 percent -- are black. Sharpton, who has often criticized the police department, said it was important to remain vigilant against gun violence.

"We must be active in stopping the gun flow and gun shooting and killing in our neighborhood," Sharpton said. "The best gift you can give this holiday season is to give in a gun."

Sharpton's National Action Network's headquarters on East 125th Street will host the first buyback day on December 18, followed by a second event at a Harlem church in January.

The NYPD says it has collected more than 6,000 guns since it launched the buyback program in 2008.

[shernandez@villagevoice.com]


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