QUEENS — A Jamaica councilman is organizing a gun buyback event next week to help stem the rising number of shootings in Southeast Queens.
"We have gotten off to a bad start in regards to the levels of gun violence that has been seen this year [in] Southeast Queens," Miller said in an email. "The first murder of 2014 in New York City took place in our community."
The number of shootings recently increased in Southeast Queens, according to statistics provided by the NYPD.
For the period ending May 18, the number of shootings in the 113th Precinct, which covers South Jamaica and St. Albans, increased by 50 percent — from 10 last year to 15 during the same period this year.
In the 103rd Precinct, which covers Jamaica and Hollis, there were six shootings this year, compared to five incidents during the same period last year, an increase of 20 percent.
"It is vital that we stay ahead of the curve to prevent any further escalation of this violence and work to decrease it," Miller said. "We need to address this issue so that people do not feel the need to walk around with guns."
Those who drop off working handguns, shotguns or assault rifles will receive a $200 bank card. For BB guns, they will get a $20 bank card.
Weapons will be accepted with no questions asked.
Miller’s office said the goal is to attract people who live in the area and want to get rid of guns used in the streets of Southeast Queens, as opposed “hunting rifles from upstate.”
The gun buyback program is scheduled for Saturday, June 7, 2014, at Majority Baptist Church, 115-21 Farmers Blvd. in Jamaica, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.