On January 5, 2013 The Ithaca Police Department and the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department hosted a Gun Buyback Program. The program was held at the Ithaca Fire Department Central Fire Station and the Tompkins County Airport Fire and Rescue Building.
The goal of the program was to offer folks an opportunity to voluntarily surrender illegally owned or unsecured guns so as to prevent them from reaching the hands of those that intend to do harm. Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson were the catalyst for this program after realizing that a gun buyback program would be instrumental in the ongoing efforts to keep our streets as safe as possible. Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson assured amnesty and immunity for those participating.
By all accounts the program was a success. At the Ithaca Fire Department Central Fire Station location Thirty-three (33) handguns were voluntarily surrendered, Twenty-seven (27) shotguns/rifles were voluntarily surrendered, and no Assault Type Rifles were voluntarily surrendered. Numbers for the amount of guns voluntarily surrendered at the Tompkins County Airport Fire and Rescue building location are not available until Monday, January 7th. People from as far away as Canandaigua, NY and Greene, NY voluntarily surrendered their guns. The Ithaca Fire Department and the Tompkins County Airport Fire and Rescue Division graciously offered their facilities to help make this program successful. Ithaca Police Department Chief John R. Barber was very pleased with the results of the program. Chief Barber noted that “this program was designed to help get guns off the street, and this program did just that.”