New York State Offering $500 to People Who Snitch on Gun Owners
March 20, 2013  //  By:   //  Andrew Cuomo, Gun Control, New York  //  45 Comments

WRGB in Albany has a breaking news story posted to their Facebook page, claiming that the state of New York is offering up bribes for people to rat out those possessing illegal firearms – an interesting development considering the adoption of the new anti-Second Amendment SAFE Act legislation.  In other words, a firearm that may have been obtained legally could become illegal under the SAFE Act, and anybody who knows you possess said firearm can report you and earn themselves a cool $500.

In addition to the Facebook page, Pat Bailey, a reporter from at CBS 6 in Albany, tweeted that he has a letter from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services explaining the reward program.



According to Bailey, the Governor’s Office is claiming that the program is well over a year old.  But the head of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association says that if that is accurate, “it was a well kept secret”.

The Troy Record Facebook page also has this announcement:

NY State has established a toll-free tip line – 1-855-GUNSNYS (1-855- 486-7697) to encourage residents to report illegal firearm possession. The tip line also allows for information to be submitted via text – individuals can text GUNTIP and their message to CRIMES (274637). The New York State Police staff the tip line 24 hours a day. Upon receiving a call, troopers will solicit as much information as possible regarding a firearm tip then contact the appropriate police agency with the lead to initiate an investigation. If the information leads to an arrest for the illegal possession of a firearm, the “tipster” will be awarded $500.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin also reports on the Snitch Line, calling it “neighbor vs. neighbor”:

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose) today released a letter that was emailed from the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police outlining a new initiative by Governor Cuomo and DCJS that would confiscate illegal firearms, including those that are not registered but were previously legal before the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (Safe Act) was rammed through the legislature in January. According to the letter, sent out on Tuesday, the state would provide a $500 reward, through tax dollars, to an individual who turns in his neighbor for possessing an illegal firearm. DCJS is planning a “comprehensive campaign” to announce this initiative which includes a toll-free tip line and details of how to text to submit a tip against their neighbor.

“In December, Governor Cuomo stated that ‘confiscation could be an option,’ and now it appears he is staying true to his word with this dangerous new initiative,” said McLaughlin. “This initiative seeks to turn neighbor against neighbor and use their own tax dollars to pay for the $500 reward. Confiscating these once-legal firearms from law-abiding citizens and pitting neighbors against one another does nothing to address the root cause of violence with guns in our society: illegal handguns used by real criminals. While Albany confiscates firearms, evil will unfortunately still wander our streets.”

Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston sends along a link which provides the text of a letter sent out in July from the Department of Criminal Justice Services to Police Agencies.  The letter reads:

At a time when all of us are finding ourselves doing more with less, a reminder about a resource available from New York State that can assist you in your efforts to solve cases, prevent crime and better serve and protect your communities.

The state has established a toll-free tip line – 1-855-XXXXX to encourage residents to report illegal firearm possession. The tip line also allows for information to be submitted via text – individuals can text GUNTIP and their message to XXXXXX. While the state will provide the administrative support and fund the rewards, the investigation and validity of the tip will be up to each local department.

To spread the word about this free resource, New York State is planning a comprehensive campaign, including public service announcements that will air on television and radio stations across Upstate.

The tip line can provide your agencies with another avenue for receiving intelligence about crimes being committed in your jurisdictions. This initiative is designed for communities where no tip lines are in place and is not meant to replace existing gun tip lines.

Here’s how the tip line operates:

The New York State Police staff the tip line 24 hours a day. Upon receiving a call, troopers will solicit as much information as possible regarding a firearm tip, while allowing the individual to remain anonymous. The caller will be informed that this program is not the traditional gun buyback program but rather is focused on identifying individuals who are carrying an illegal firearm.

The State Police will in turn contact the appropriate police agency with the lead to initiate an investigation. Staff from the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) will follow up with that agency to determine the validity of the lead. Once the investigation is completed, the police agency would convey to DCJS the outcome of the investigation.

If the information leads to an arrest for the illegal possession of a firearm, the “tipster” will be awarded $500. DCJS staff will handle all of the financial transactions.

State Police staff will explain the program in its entirety upon notifying an agency that a lead has been generated for their jurisdiction. If you have any questions in the interim, please contact DCJS Deputy Commissioner Tony Perez in the Office of Public Safety at 518–XXXX.

Janine Kava

Director of Public Information

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

We will post video of the CBS report as soon as possible.  WRGB’s site is under construction, but they have been updating via Facebook.

Update:  Video of the news report can be found here…

About the Author :

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

45 Comments to “New York State Offering $500 to People Who Snitch on Gun Owners”
  • SAS 2008
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    The 1-855-GUNSNYS has been around for a little more than a year. The $500 if accurate doesn’t seem to have been advertised before.

  • Zombee
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    How about a mental illness snitch program and a national mental illness registry. It has been mental jack wagons perpetrating these mass shootings, not law abiding gun owners.

    • Vunderkint
      March 21, 2013 - Reply

      Oh we can’t hold the mentally ill responsible for the shootings after all it was the ACLU made it possible for crazy people to be sprung from mental facilities years ago and it’s political correctness that is keeping them from being put back remember the Virginia Tech shooter? They all knew he was nuts but nobody could do anything about it because it might hurt someone’s feelings. And don’t you think it’s kind of odd that the vast majority of the shooters are left-leaning? That’s the dirty little secret the state media keeps hidden.


      • James Vetzel
        March 21, 2013 - Reply

        And everybody gets a blue ribbon and we don’t keep score so that no one’s feelings are hurt. Well guess what folks, in the real world they do keep score and you have to earn your “F” by being stupid.

        • Vunderkint
          March 22, 2013 - Reply

          Keeping score? Not exactly sure what you’re talking about, could you be a little more specific?

  • the_destroyer
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    I crank called this number and they threatened to send the cops to my house.

  • Alfred Newman
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    I think, as I am driving to Texas in a few weeks, that while I go through the peoples republic of NY, I might just wait till I get into PA to stop for anything, people in NY are crazy, I’m thinking it best to just drive through non stop. You see, Texans don’t give up their guns. In Massachusetts and throughout New England they talk about prying it from my cold dead hands, In Texas we mean it.

  • David Ward
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    Think we ought to have a Report an Obama supporter number. Callers can get a tax break and the OSs go to jail for sedition.

  • Gary Lee Emch
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    Time for the patriots in New York to clean house on these anti Constitution officials.

  • Polish Rifle
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    Statist, commie scumbags…. Elections have consequences fools.

  • Preston Jemmott
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    When will the people tell this sorry excuse of a governor to remove himself from his position or be removed for taking it upon himself to ignore the Constitution. It should be in the Supreme Court immediately and overturned before Cuomo triggers a revolution with his stupidity

  • Ragin Cornelius
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    All I got to say to you NY’ers is you that you should protect your life and 2nd Amendment right and shoot to kill anyone coming through your door to take your guns. No matter who it is. Law enforcement or not. Just because they wear a badge does not put them above the law.

  • Joeyblitz
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    I have to say , I hate NY so much ,I will never go back there ,unless it is an absolute emergency. What a bunch of wackos ,they have ,in power up there. But the people are the ones who voted for them ,so they deserve their pain. And ,please ,dont come to Florida,there are way too many New yorkers here already,and pretty soon ,we wont be able to drink Big gulps,or smoke outside ,or shoot our M4’s.

  • Dwayne Wolski
    March 20, 2013 - Reply

    And so now I know where the first shots will be fired. New York State Government is making New York the next Soviet Socialist Republic, because that is exactly what they did there. Turn neighbor against neighbor until there was no one to turn in. Why? Because everyone lived in fear, even those that did the original turning in of their neighbor.Good luck Comrade Cuomo, your Soviet style actions is what turned the possibility of Civil War into a Revolution War against tyranny such as yours.

  • Currahee
    March 21, 2013 - Reply

    A little East Germany right here in America. From this point on there is no business in NY which I cannot accomplish elsewhere. Anything less would be a fertilizer for the weeds growing there. If you are planning to relocate to Texas from that place, we must insist that you leave your totalitarian ways behind you. Come here only for freedom!

  • UnsungPatriot
    March 21, 2013 - Reply

    The sad part is that the vast majority of upstate New Yorkers are normal folks unfortunately ruled by lawmakers elected in liberal urban centers.

    I bet they’d like to secede.

  • kap2002
    March 21, 2013 - Reply

    Are the people of NY state really that stupid? How many ways can you spell Nazi.

    I hope everybody but the criminals and liberals move out of that state.

  • Denallen
    March 22, 2013 - Reply

    Kid Cuomo wants more taxes
    Kid Cuomo wants your guns
    He thinks he should Be President
    C’uz he’s Mario Cuomo’s son

  • Timothy Gard
    March 22, 2013 - Reply

    Have faith brother Alfred, we have yet begun to fight …

  • Timothy Gard
    March 22, 2013 - Reply

    Please hear me every NY citizen who values the freedoms we have enjoyed over the last 200 years. As our forefathers warned, we will again have to stand toe to toe with tyranny and state our dedication to freedom against tyrannical entities. Their prediction has come to be. If you live in NY, and you believe in a free state, get your butts to Syracuse tomorrow come Hell or high water!

  • adirondack_1
    March 22, 2013 - Reply

    How long before the next Ruby Ridge ? In the mean time watch the ranks close among lawful gun owners as well as the various criminal networks. The idiots in Albany are banking on a tip of eight rounds loaded. After seven, according to the banners, the snitch shouldn’t be able to say if there were eight.

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