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Queens buyback collects more than 500 guns

August 18, 2012 7:43:10 PM PDT
Amid a rash of shootings in New York City this summer, officials in Queens sponsored a gun buyback initiative on Saturday that collected 509 firearms.

Anyone who handed in a legal or illegal handgun at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica received a $200 gift card. 245 revolvers and 168 semi-automatic pistols were among the recovered guns as well as an AK 47, tec-9, and a Calico 9mm with a 50 round magazine.

The effort was held in the same neighborhood where Police Sergeant Craig Bier was shot in both legs while working with an anti-gang unit last week.

"While our children are in the streets dying, basically and to a large extent shooting one another, there are too many guns," said Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks.

"Too many people who are looking to guns as an answer to resolve problems."

Since the program's city-wide inception, over 8,200 weapons have been recovered.

Authorities are offering a $32,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with the wounding of Sgt. Bier.

Police believe the suspect, John Thomas, has been in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

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