UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is sponsoring a gun buy back program in cities across the state.
On Saturday, one was held in Utica at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Assistant Attorney General James WIlliams out of Utica was there and says there were at least 150 guns taken in in exchange for debit cards ranging from $25.00 to $100.00.
Williams says the money used for the program is money taken in by the Attorney Generals Office.
The State Attorney General's Office was assisted on Saturday by the Utica Police Department.
Utica Police Sgt. Wayne Manolescu says the program is a good one designed to keep people safe.
Manolescu says most of the guns are from homes where people have had the guns for a long time and no longer use them, "Bring them in and get them out of their home, so if their home is ever burglarized or something like that, they're not going to get in the wrong hands, so it makes it safer for us on the street and every citizen, guns off the street and destroyed the right way."
Outside the Auditorium Saturday, a very quite protest.
Around 20 protesters lined Oriskany St. West to protest the New York Safe Act, Governor Cuomo himself and this gun buy back program.
Kenneth Hall of Cooperstown is a member of the Oath Seekers and the New York 2nd Amendment Foundation.
He says he and others protest these same things at other functions across the state, including gun shows.
Hall says the gun buy back program is illegal because NICS background checks are done on the sale of the guns to the Attorney General's Office.
Williams says a NICS background checks will be done by the State Police on each and every gun.
The state will hold additional gun buy back programs in Binghamton, Buffalo, Poughkeepsie and Yonkers in the coming weeks.