New York gun control advocates are railing against a gun control hotline that enables state residents to report illegal gun owners exchange for a reward.
The tip line isn’t new, having been around since February 2012, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. But its existence wasn’t well known before a recent email from the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services to police chiefs across the state.
Tipsters can get $500 for reporting illegal firearm possession, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, citing the email. A press release from the governor’s office last year says the amount of rewards will depend on the value of the lead.
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“This initiative seeks to turn neighbor against neighbor and use their own tax dollars to pay for the $500 reward,” Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin told CBS6 in Albany.
New York lawmakers have been discussing changes to a gun control law passed in January. The law included tougher penalties for using illegal guns, and re-certification of handguns and assault weapons.
The gun control issue came into play after a young man barged into a school in Connecticut late last year and shot multiple people.
The tip line includes a texting option. The number is 1-855-GUNS-NYS (486-7697).