A $500 reward is being offered for the arrest of illegal gun owners in New York. Although the initiative was announced by Governor Cuomo nearly a year ago, few people, including several law enforcement agencies, are aware of the incentive.
The initiative was announced in February 2012 and offered a “Gun Tip Line” that allows residents to report illegal gun ownership. If the information leads to an arrest, the reward is $500.
New York Governor Cuomo announced the plan at Governor.NY.gov last year. The hotline is just one part of a plan to reduce gun violence in New York. The article included four strategies that were expected to cut down on violent gun crime.
The first strategy addressed “community specific” measures. The governor committed to providing the communities of Manhattan, the Bronx, Albany, Newburgh, and Schenectady with $1 million to develop new programs t0 reduce gun violence.
Secondly the governor discusses a plan to begin an “advertising campaign” to raise awareness and educate the public about crimes involving guns.
Governor Cuomo also awarded $700,000 to Yonkers, Niagara, Albany, Brooklyn, and Harlem to continue intervention programs that have been found effective.
Lastly, the Governor discusses the “Gun Tip Line” which offers a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of illegal gun owners.
As reported by CBS, response to the initiative has been weak. Numerous agencies report that they have not received any tips from the hotline. There are several theories as to why New York citizens have failed to respond, but the consensus seems to be a lack of knowledge.
The governor’s office hopes that advertising will increase awareness about the incentive and will help them get illegal guns off the streets.
Critics of the initiative have stated that pitting neighbor against neighbor could actually contribute to an increase in community violence.
Others say the plan will not work, as many citizens refuse to report criminal activity in fear of retaliation.
The state of New York currently continues to offer a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of illegal gun owners. Officials hope that, as more citizens and law enforcement officers are aware of the program, it will become a success.