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Spa City to host gun buyback program

Spa City to host gun buyback program

The city will award $100 gift cards to those who dispose of unwanted firearms
Spa City to host gun buyback program
Saratoga Springs City Mayor Meg Kelly during a recent Saratoga Springs City Council meeting. in C

The city will host a gun buyback program one week after the Saratoga Springs City Center's final gun show.

The Department of Public Safety and the Universal Unitarian Congregation of Saratoga Springs will host the buyback program on June 2, which is also National Gun Violence Awareness Day. 

The New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates (NEACA) gun show, taking place this weekend at the City Center, will be the final gun show at the City Center, as the City Council unanimously voted in March to ban gun and ammunition sales from the venue. 

The show was already contracted for Memorial Day weekend when the ban was enacted, so the show was allowed to proceed. 

Those who bring unwanted firearms to the Universal Unitarian Congregation, at 624 N. Broadway, will receive a $100 gift card.  

Mayor Meg Kelly said the program's goal is to prevent tragedies. 

"Getting unused guns out of people's homes saves lives, and that's what I'm trying to do," Kelly said. "This is another way the city is taking action to make the community safer."

Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin said the gun buyback program is a great opportunity for residents. 

"There are a lot of people in the city who have ownership of a gun that they don't want, so this is a chance for them to get rid of them," Martin said. "It's a chance to make the city safer, so they don't end up in the wrong hands."

Martin said officers from the Saratoga Springs Police Department will collect the guns from buyback program participants. 

He added that Tom Roohan, of Saratoga Springs-based Roohan Realty and chairman of the City Center Authority, donated funds to help cover the cost of the gift cards. 

Rev. Joseph Cleveland, of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, said it "made complete sense" for his congregation to become involved. 

"It's about getting unwanted weapons out of the house and community," Cleveland said "Any gun that's turned in will never end up in the hands of a criminal, curious child or someone who is feeling depressed. 

"Removing that risk factor is an important thing to do."

Cleveland said he also hopes the event raises the issue of gun safety.

"We want to be sure we're doing everything we can to eliminate chances for gun violence in our community," Cleveland said. "This is a great example of a partnership between city government, a business and religious organization to increase safety."

The gun buyback program will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 624 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 

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