NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Just how effective are gun buybacks, like one held by the Niagara Falls Police Department and the state Attorney General's Office, at reducing violent crimes?
Researchers at SUNY Buffalo State studied five gun buybacks in the city of Buffalo from 2007 to 2012, and found no impact on crime.
"Even the long-term one Buffalo did did not result in any significant reduction in, we studied homicide, robberies and we also included gun assaults and none of those were reduced over time," said Scott Phillips, SUNY Buffalo State associate professor.
"We get a lot of elderly folks, we get people whose spouses have passed on and people who have come into ownership of what would be a legal gun and they just don't want it in the house and they don't know how to get rid of it, so we provide a way to get rid of the gun to make their home safe," said Niagara Falls Police Chief Bryan DalPorto.
"Every gun that is turned in today is one weapon that won't be used in a crime of violence against our citizens or police officers," said Assistant Attorney General Michael Russo.
The guns were exchanged for gift cards ranging between $25 and $100, paid for with forfeiture money from prosecutions executed by the attorney general's office. The donators are kept anonymous and the firearms are destroyed.