GOSHEN - Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana, Orange County District Attorney Francis D. Phillips, and Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, along with local elected and law enforcement officials announced recently at the County Sheriff’s Office that 342 weapons were turned in county-wide between January 18 and March 18, 2013 during the County’s third Gun Buyback Program, "Save a Life."
"As I stated back in January at the kickoff of this program, Orange County is committed to reducing gun violence and reducing the injuries and deaths associated with unlawful access to firearms," said County Executive Diana. "The response by the community has been outstanding. Thank you to ShopRite, our valuable community partner here in Orange County, for their generous support of this effort."
"Save a Life," Orange County’s Gun Buyback program began January 18, and ran through March 18, 2013. During this time, individuals had an opportunity to turn in illegal or unwanted firearms in exchange for up to $150 in gift cards, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no questions asked, at police departments in Newburgh, Middletown and Port Jervis, as well as at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, in Goshen.
"The number of firearms that have been surrendered has reduced the chance that an innocent victim could be accidently injured or killed in their home," said District Attorney Phillips. "The program also reduces the number of guns that could be stolen from law abiding homeowners and used illegally on our streets."
"I’m encouraged that people took responsibility to surrender unwanted firearms that may have had the chance for a police officer to encounter," said Sheriff DuBois. "Along with that, I also would like to recognize responsible gun owners that handle and secure the firearms that they choose to possess."
"What a great opportunity to be here today, and what an amazing display of firearms," said City of Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy. "With the weapons we have here someone’s life is going to be spared, maybe several. This effort was a great example of collaboration and cooperation between the County and the city of Newburgh showing how we could move forward together to solve problems."
"The 342 firearms that were turned-in during this latest Buyback Program brings the total of all firearms turned in during our three county-wide Programs to over 700," said Walter C. Koury, Commissioner Orange County Department of Emergency Services. "To me, this translates to over 700 less firearms that could have been stolen during a burglary or robbery and used to perpetrate crimes against others. I thank all of our citizens who participated in this year’s Program by turning in these unwanted weapons."
"This program is a proactive one in which we can all do something to save a life," said Newburgh Chief of Police Michael Ferrara. "I applaud everyone involved in the gun buyback program making our communities safer. I appreciate everyone’s help."
"I believe a program such as this one brings gun safety awareness conversations to households, as we have seen an increase in the guns collected in each program," said Deputy Commissioner Craig W. Cherry, Orange County Police Liaison Services. "Unwanted and illegal firearms pose a hazard in the home and in the community when they fall into the wrong hands."
"I would like to thank County Executive Diana for his vision in putting this program together and for the input of the Greater Newburgh Partnership," said city of Newburgh Councilman Curlie Dillard. "In addition, I would like to thank all of our partners."
"By working together, our faith based community, our police and the public, we were able to claim success in this gun buyback program," said Reverend Jesse Howard of Newburgh. "Thank you to all of our partners."
"I am humbled to be a part of something that makes a difference as this gun buyback program does," said David Potack of the Greater Newburgh Partnership. "It’s been a pleasure to be a part of such a successful event."