Filed Under:  Local

City hosts buybacks to get guns off of streets

26th June 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Della Hasselle
Contributing Writer

More than 100 guns were collected Saturday, June 17, at the second citywide gun buyback event hosted by District “C” Councilmember Nadine Ramsey.

The New Orleans City Council announced that the event, which took place at the St. Roch Community Church at 1738 St. Roch Ave., was a “huge success.”

Officials collected a total of 67 pistols, 19 shotguns and 26 rifles, the City Council announced in a press release on June 21. Participating gun owners received working handguns, shotguns or rifles and $200 for assault weapons.

“I’m so thankful for all those who came out on Saturday and helped make this second gun buyback such an immense success,” said Councilmember Ramsey. “This is an ongoing issue facing our community and getting these guns off the streets represents another important step toward decreasing gun violence.”

Shooting incidents have jumped to an “unprecedented high” in 2017, City Council officials said in the release. The violence spiked on June 3 when 13 people were struck by gunfire in a single day.

The day before, June 2, had been National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu had announced in a statement that it was his “top priority” to keep New Orleans families safe from misuse of firearms.

He touted his work with City Council on passing laws to decrease the number of illegal guns on the streets, as well as his recently unveiled $40 million public safety improvement package.

“I stand with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and all others working to end gun violence in this country. Every day, nearly 93 American lives are cut short by gun violence,” Landrieu said. “However, despite our robust investments and efforts, there are still too many families impacted by gun violence in our city. I pledge to continue doing all I can to end the epidemic of gun violence that is taking away lives and clouding the richness of our city.”

The mayor also touted the work of the New Orleans Police Depart-ment, NOLA for Life, and community partners like the Peace Keepers, Urban League of Louisiana and Total Community Action.

According to Jeff Asher, a crime analyst, the initiatives don’t seem to be working fast enough, if at all. As of June, New Orleans was on pace for 578 shootings and 199 murders in 2017.

The numbers were 27 percent higher and 19 percent higher respectively to 2016 totals for the same time period, Asher announced on Twitter.

As of June 21, there were a total of 51 people shot in all districts in June alone.

Asher reported that 49 percent of the city’s shootings so far had happened in the 5th and 7th districts.

When asked “what inferences” he drew from the data, Asher was critical of response by New Orleans officials.

“The city’s anti-gun violence policies have largely collapsed at this point,” Asher wrote.

The 5th District covers St. Roch, the 7th Ward, the 9th Ward, the Bywater and the Marigny. The 7th District covers New Orleans East.

The ultimate goal of the gun buyback program, Ramsey said, is to reduce gun violence by offering residents a safe and anonymous way to dispose of their firearms.

Additional sponsors of the program included: Congressman Cedric Richmond, Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, Senator Wesley Bishop, State Senator Troy Carter, State Representative Gary Carter, State Representative Jimmy Harris, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, Second City Clerk Darren Lombard, Second City Constable Edwin Shorty, Morris Bart, LLC., Metro Services Group and Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association.

District “E” Councilmember James Gray and District “D” Councilmember Jared Brossett were also in attendance.

This article originally published in the June 26, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.