HEMPSTEAD, NY – Greek-American Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced on September 23 a gun buyback program in Hempstead following a “weekend of violence in the village that left two people injured in gang- and drug-related shootings,” Newsday reported.
The announcement was made in Mineola in the presence of Linda Beigel Schulman, mother of Parkland, FL school shooting victim Scott Beigel, who also noted the need for federal gun control legislation, Newsday reported.
“Hempstead is a place obviously that we’re concerned about in terms of gun violence,” said Singas, Newsday reported, adding that “such buybacks have been held across the county.”
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder confirmed the two daylight shootings over the weekend, Newsday reported, noting that they “occurred even as Nassau County and State Police officers began last month patrolling the village to deal with a violent crime spike.”
Ryder, noted that “the shootings occurred at times when the extra patrols weren’t active,” and said “police were close to making an arrest in one of the shootings,” Newsday reported, adding that “Hempstead police officers have been close partners in the crackdown, providing intelligence which he said had prevented crimes and resulted in arrests.”
“There hasn’t been another homicide since we began our initiative,” the commissioner said, Newsday reported.
Assemblymember Taylor Darling (D-Hempstead), received calls from residents afraid to go out due to the shootings, and she said, “The reality is, the core of the issue is we don’t have opportunity here. We don’t have educational opportunity. We don’t have economic opportunity. That’s when organized crime takes over, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing: drugs and gangs are fighting over turf, they’re fighting over clients,” Newsday reported.
Also present at the news conference were representatives from Moms Demand Action and Long Islanders for Gun Safety who also expressed the need for federal gun control.
Beigel Schulman’s son, Scott Beigel, originally from Dix Hills, was 35, teaching geography at Parkland, when he was killed in the massacre that left a total of 17 dead on February 14, 2018. “He was shot, officials have said, while attempting to lock his classroom door after he had ushered students inside,” Newsday reported.
“Gun safety is not a partisan issue,” said Beigel Schulman, who is urging lawmakers to pass a federal ‘red flag’ law which would allow guns to be confiscated “from those determined by a court to be a threat to themselves or others,” Newsday reported, adding that “she said the law would have saved her son’s life.”
The gun buyback is scheduled for Saturday, September 28, 9 AM-12 noon at the Union Baptist Church on Clinton C. Boone Place in Hempstead.
“Rifles will net $100, while handguns are worth $200 and assault rifles will be rewarded with $400,” Newsday reported, adding that “the buyback is being funded with asset forfeiture funds from both the district attorney’s office and police department.”
Officials said that “last year’s gun buyback for Nassau County netted 366 guns,” Newsday reported, adding that “since 2008, the county has bought back 4,500 guns.”