February 8, 2013

Gun-buyback date set

MALONE — A second Franklin County gun-buyback day will be held on Tuesday in Malone, Dickinson and Chateaugay.

Weapons can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Franklin County Emergency Services Building at 55 Bare Hill Road in Malone, the Dickinson Fire Department and the Chateaugay Fire Department.

District Attorney Derek Champagne initiated the county-wide program to reduce the number of guns out in the county that are no longer wanted or needed.


Mike Fleury, the county’s STOP DWI coordinator, oversees the gun-buyback program for Champagne’s office.

He said public response was positive, for the most part, except for a few people protesting at the Constable site.

“But once Derek explained to them what we were doing, they understood,” he said. “We’re not trying to step on anybody’s Second Amendment rights.

“We’re just trying to get guns off the street so they can’t be taken in a burglary and used against another person or law enforcement.”

He said those turning in weapons were grateful to have a place to get rid of them.

“If this gets even one gun off the street, it’s a success,” he said.


The first event, held in late January in Constable and on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation at Akwesasne, took 36 weapons out of circulation, including three assault rifles, nine shotguns and 24 assorted handguns, pistols and rifles.

Those turning in a working firearm, with no questions asked, were paid a small stipend, depending on the type of gun.

The fee for a working assault rifle or handgun is $150, other long guns bring $25 each, and an ammunition magazine that holds 10 rounds or more is $20.

Anyone who surrenders a weapon is granted amnesty from any gun-possession charge.

The weapon must be transported in the truck of a car and be in a box or plastic bag.

Once the gun is deemed operational, the fee is paid, up to a maximum of $450.

Champagne plans to hold similar events in Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake next month.

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