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Franklin County hosts gun buyback program

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Franklin County hosts gun buyback program
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If you have a gun in your house that you no longer want, Franklin County is willing to take it off your hands. In the wake of the Newtown shootings, the county decided to hold a gun buyback day. YNN's Barry Wygel says not everyone was happy with the idea.

CONSTABLE, N.Y. -- "We're just looking for guns that are just laying around. We are not looking to go in anyone's homes, we're not looking to take anything that anybody doesn't want to give," said Derek Champagne, Franklin County district attorney.

Champagne says the the program was in response to calls the DA's office received. People wanted to know what to do with unwanted guns.

Officials say one of the benefits of a buyback is that people remain anonymous, and guns are turned in with no questions asked.

"It's a situation where if we can go ahead and take it off your hands and give you a little bit of pocket money for it, hopefully we're making the county a little bit safer," said Champagne.

But that wasn't enough for some demonstrators, who braved the sub-zero temperatures to be outside the gun buyback location.

"We're out here to defend our Second Amendment," said Ray Schova, of North Bangor.

The protestors say the gun buyback program uses taxpayer money that could be put to other uses.

"They should've put it into a police car and use the car to take it up there and protect the schools," said Schova.

But, Champagne had an answer.

"So I committed to them today that we'll go ahead and use drug-dealer money, so to speak, proceeds from crimes regarding narcotics for all of the buybacks today," said Champagne.

Police said they were surprised by the number of guns turned in within the first couple hours of the buyback, and there may be more buyback days in the future.

"Our hope is to have another two or another three in another two weeks," said Champagne.

Payouts are capped at $450.

There are no specific dates planned for additional gun buybacks yet.

If you would like more information or if you have any questions about the program, you can call the Franklin County offices at (518) 521-1007.

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