New York AG's latest gun "buyback" slated to take place in "gun-free zone"

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Under the ironically named “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul last year, all churches and houses of worship in the state are considered “sensitive places” where firearms must be banned. That provision, along with many other aspects of the CCIA, is facing several court challenges, but the Democrats in control of New York’s government clearly believe that those religious institutions should be “gun-free zones” where the presence of a firearm will lead to felony charges.


Given that stance, it’s more than a little odd that one of the locations where New York Attorney General Letitia James will be holding an upcoming gun “buyback” event is a church in Niagara Falls.

State Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her office will host a gun buyback from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29 in St. John’s AME Church, 917 Garden Ave., Niagara Falls.

Working and non-operational guns will be accepted with no questions asked, James said. They must be unloaded and contained in a bag or a box. There is no limit on how many firearms one person can turn in. Pre-paid gift cards will be given in compensation once the gun is secured by law enforcement officers at the church.

I guess it’s okay to bring a gun to church as long as you hand it over to police? As Second Amendment attorney Stephen Stamboulieh wondered after the announcement was made, is this James acknowledging that churches aren’t really “sensitive places”, or does she just not care what the law actually says?
I’m going with the latter. Laws are for little people, and while the pastor of the St. John’s AME Church could face criminal charges for going armed on the job, those bringing guns to the church property later this month will get a pass because that’s how James wants it.
The location of this particular compensated confiscation isn’t the only oddity about the upcoming event. You might remember another “buyback” hosted by James last year where a patron ended up turning in several dozen home-built guns and walking away with $20,000; something that James swore wouldn’t happen again.
“It’s shameful that this individual exploited a program that has successfully taken thousands of guns off the streets to protect our communities from gun violence. We have partnered with local police throughout the state to recover more than 3,500 guns, and one individual’s greedy behavior won’t tarnish our work to promote public safety. We have adjusted our policies to ensure that no one can exploit this program again for personal gain.
According to the terms laid out by the AG’s office for the pending “buyback”, it sounds like making guns specifically to turn them in for a profit is back on the table.
The Attorney General’s Office will pay $500 for each assault rifle and ghost gun, $500 for the first handgun per person, then $150 for each additional handgun; $75 per rifle or shotgun, and $25 per non-working, replica, antique, homemade or 3-D printed gun.
Do you think anyone at the AG’s office knows that 3D-printed guns are “ghost guns”, at least if they’re not serialized by their creator? Clearly this was an attempt to avoid another big payout like last year, but it only demonstrates the utter ignorance of the anti-gunners. What exactly is a “ghost gun” if not a homemade firearm? I assume that James thinks “ghost guns” must involve an 80% completed frame or receiver that was completed by the builder, but generally speaking “ghost guns” refers to all unserialized firearms, not just those that were built with unfinished frames or receivers.
Gun “buybacks” are worthless to begin with, but James has somehow found a way to make hers even more ridiculous than the average compensated confiscation event. Bravo to the AG for the absurdity of hosting a buyback in a “gun-free zone”, as well as revealing just how little she and her staff understand about the guns they’re trying to “take off the streets.” I’m sure it wasn’t her intent, but she did gun owners a huge favor by putting her ignorance on display.

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