Ithaca gun buyback final results to be announced

The official total from Ithacaâ??s gun buyback program Saturday stands at 60, but itâ??s expected to go much higher on Monday afternoon when Ithaca Police and the Tompkins County Sheriffâ??s Department announce the final results.

The numbers are small now, because only the collection numbers for the Ithaca Fire Department site have been tallied. Itâ??s believed many more guns were turned in at the Tompkins County airport drop off site.

Officer Jamie Williamson told CNY Central, "We have an objective or a goal to make our streets safer, to help keep Ithaca a wonderful and beautiful place to live, to grow, to raise children, to work. This gun buy back program speaks volumes to that."

Tompkins County law enforcers set up the gun buyback before the shooting tragedies in Newtown, Connecticut and Webster, New York, saying that if even one gun was turned in, it would make the community safer.

However, those two incidents have spurred interest in tighter gun control laws at both the federal and state levels, with stores and gun shows noting more people eager to buy firearms.

In the wake of the Newtown and Webster shootings, Albany is looking toput tougher gun control laws into effect. Republican State Senators have one plan, announced by Republican Conference leader Senator Dean Skelos on Saturday afternoon. It emphasizes tougher, mandatory sentences and increases penalties for guns in schools or on school buses, and for shooting first responders.