WNYT.com

Gun buyback proposed for Saratoga Springs

Posted at: 01/15/2013 5:18 PM
Updated at: 01/15/2013 5:49 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

SARATOGA SPRINGS--The mass shooting in Newtown, CT could not go unchecked for many other communities, everywhere.  Even 160 miles away in Saratoga Springs.

"People don't know what to do about the situation, it's been going on for so long," worries Christopher Peake, a downtown Saratoga resident.

One month later and plans for Saratoga Springs' first ever gun buyback are underway.  It requires City approval and police involvement but the idea and the funding for the program are all private. 

"I didn't just want a feel good response by writing my Congressman or calling my Senator.  I decided I wanted to do something of substance, something I could touch," explains Peake.

A meeting with police and City Commissioners next week will likely finalize the program.  And because it's, obviously, voluntary and doesn't require tax payer dollars, Saratoga's gun buyback program has bipartisan support.

To make sure people are being careful with the guns they have or if they have one they don't need or want to get rid of.  It makes sure they (weapons) are not accessible to people who shouldn't get them," says Commissioner of Public Safety, Christian Mathiesen, a supporter of the plan.

There are many lessons the tragedy at Sandy Hook is leaving behind: violence can happen anywhere and, according to Peake, everyone can be part of the solution.

"It's what makes us a community that works.  People who just sit around and do nothing, well nothing gets done ," , adds Peake.

For more information, to help, to donate or to turn in a weapon, email saratogabuyback@hotmail.com .