Residents can trade guns for cash during NJ redemption events

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Residents can trade in their guns for cash at any of New Jersey’s 10 locations this Saturday during the state’s largest day-long gun buyback.

The event, details of which were announced on Monday, will allow residents to hand over firearms without questioning, according to a statement by Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck. They will receive up to $ 250 per gun for up to three guns.

State officials say the buyouts will help reduce gun violence by removing guns from the streets.

“Fewer guns in the wrong hands will lead to less violence in our neighborhoods,” said Col. Patrick Callahan, New Jersey State Police Superintendent. “This program will play a huge role in protecting our cities and saving lives.”

Bruck echoed this, saying he would use “every tool at our disposal to reduce gun violence.”

The popularity of a similar event on August 7 prompted the state to host another, the attorney general added.

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck said he would use "all the tools at our disposal to reduce armed violence."

The summer buyout – staged in Atlantic City, East Orange, Newark and Paterson – brought in nearly 1,000 firearms, including 487 handguns, 27 assault rifles, 281 rifles and 146 unusable or pelletized, according to state authorities.

But it’s still unclear what effect, if any, the buyouts have on lowering crime, experts said.

“I have never seen a study or crime statistic indicating that these buyouts have a direct impact,” said Brian Higgins, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan and a former chief of the county police. Bergen. “It’s more of a welfare approach… it’s not about arresting people, putting them in jail and making them answer for a crime committed with a gun.”

But he added that the programs certainly don’t hurt. And they’re worth it if they save even a life, Higgins said.

Some of the guns collected at a buyout event in Paterson over the summer.

Bruck said in the statement that the buyout is part of a global effort to reduce gun deaths by addressing the root causes of violence, keeping guns away from those who are likely to harm others and taking swift action against criminals.

The buyout is funded by forfeited money seized by local police departments, county prosecutors and the state’s Criminal Justice Division, Bruck said.

Nine county attorney’s offices are participating, Bruck said. The event will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following sites:

  • Bergen County: St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, 55 West Demarest Avenue, Englewood
  • Camden County: Antioch Baptist Church, 690 Ferry Avenue, Camden
  • Cumberland County: Alms Center, 1 way Martin Luther King Jr., Bridgeton
  • Mercer County: Friendship Baptist Church, 111 Perry Street, Trenton
  • Middlesex / Somerset Counties: Lincoln Gardens First Baptist Church, 771 Somerset Street, Somerset
  • Monmouth County: Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, 124 Atkins Avenue, Asbury Park (opens at 8:30 a.m.)
  • Salem County: Carneys Point Fire Department, 258 D Street, Carneys Point
  • Union County: Master’s Table Christian Fellowship (Triumphant Life Church) 207-211 Bond Street, Elizabeth; Shiloh Baptist Church Community Center, corner of 5th Street W and Liberty Street, Plainfield; Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, 506 Westfield Avenue, Westfield

Steve Janoski covers law enforcement for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news about those who protect your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

E-mail: janoski@northjersey.com

Twitter: @stevejanoski



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