BUFFALO, NY – Buffalo Police say they're determined to get more guns off the streets and now they're checking to see whether pistol permit holders have passed away and what happened to their gun or guns.
During a press conference last week regarding weapons brought in illegally from Pennsylvania, police officials told reporters their biggest problem with weapons in crimes seems to involve guns that are stolen in burglaries from homes.
They feel that, in some cases, families are holding on to weapons even after the person who bought them originally has died.
So now they're actually looking for those situations.
"We recently started a program where we're cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we're sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don't end up in the wrong hands," said Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda." Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street."
Some police agencies give families of the deceased permit holder 15 days to sell or transfer a weapon or weapons held with the permit to another permit holder or a dealer.
Police say the goal of reducing the number of guns on the street is also why they have offered the gun buyback, no-questions-asked program which exchanges pre-paid cash cards for guns. Many question whether criminals would ever do so, but police claim it is still beneficial to take in weapons each year.