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Two years of an illegal gun tip hotline leads to just one arrest - 01/31/14

Your neighbor is not a spy.

Just one New York State resident has been arrested thanks to a gun tip hotline set up by state police, according to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services.

In February of 2012, 11 months before the state passed their stringent gun law known as the NY SAFE Act, a hotline was set up for people to call who thought they knew someone that possessed an illegal gun. If a person was arrested and convicted the tipster would receive a $500 reward.

The hotline flew under the radar for nearly a year as law enforcement officials said they were made aware of the tip line but many questioned whether the public new.

There was plenty of backlash from pro gun groups and gun owners who were just finding out about the law for the first time in March of 2013. The initial story was picked up by numerous blogs and pro gun websites around the country.

According to data from a Freedom of Information Law request, two years later there seems to be no interest in a person turning their neighbor in or most firearms are legally owned.

In an email from the Department of Criminal Justice Services the records assessors office wrote the following -- "there has been one arrest in connection with the NYS Gun Tip Line call. To date no rewards have been given".

The one arrest came in the Town of Moreau for the "unlawful transfer of an assault weapon", according to a state police press release in April of 2013. The tip was for a gun being available for sale on Facebook, the press release stated. An undercover police officer responded to the post and bought the gun.

William Greene of Moreau was charged with a misdemeanor for the "unlawful transfer of a an assault weapon". Mr. Greene was issued an appearance ticket.

Since the NY SAFE Act took effect there have been 1,291 arrests according to the Department of Criminal Justice Services.


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