Two weeks after the Governor signed the state's tough new gun law, one city in Western New York is also trying to keep guns from falling into the hands of criminals. YNN's Kevin Jolly talked with Lockport's mayor and police chief about the new effort to keep guns off the streets.
LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Here in Lockport, just about forty minutes north of Buffalo and east of Niagara Falls, gun violence is not a big problem.
Still, Police Chief Lawrence Eggert says it's better to be proactive than reactive.
"We're trying to get ahead of the curve. You know, Niagara Falls has their issues and obviously Buffalo has a lot of issues and we get the spillover from that, so what we're trying to do here is get out there ahead of the curve, take some guns off the street before they're used in crimes," said Eggert.
Later this month, the city is holding a gun buy back in hopes of keeping guns from ending up in the hands of criminals.
"Let's say you have an older person, maybe a spouse passes away, and they have four guns in the house and they don't know what to do with them. There could come a time when those guns will be stolen or given to a relative illegally, so what we're offering is come on in, give us the guns, we'll give you a little money for them and we also have the double advantage of taking them off the street," said Eggert.
Mayor Michael Tucker says while crime is down in Lockport, last November and December saw a 27 percent spike in gun and drug related crimes in a part of the city south of Walnut Street.
That prompted the Mayor to designate it an impact zone and beef up police patrols.
“We had an incident where somebody shot a gun. I don't know what a good time to put these impact teams together, (but) it just seems to me when people start shooting that's as good a time as any," said Tucker.
Resident Stanley Wilson thinks the buyback is a good idea.
"I think that would be a good thing. It would get people to turn in guns and they could get money for it and then we wouldn't have to worry about the guns being used on the street," said Wilson.
The Gun buyback will be held February 23rd at the Lockport Municipal Building.