Camden County residents turned in more than 1,100 guns at a buyback event held at two churches in Camden this weekend.
At up to $250 per firearm, the two-day event put $156,000 into the pockets of county residents, according to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, who announced the buyback results at Camden Police Department's Federal Street headquarters Tuesday afternoon.
"I am not suggesting that gun buybacks are some sort of magic solution to the complex and multi-faceted problem of violence in our society. But we have to keep forging ahead using all of the strategies at our disposal," Chiesa said. "And while we’re at it, we have to keep thinking about new strategies as well. Here in New Jersey, inaction is not an option."
Chiesa indicated he is not aware of any single gun buyback event in New Jersey that has yielded as many guns. Of the 1,137 guns turned in by Camden County residents over the two days, five were described as semiautomatic assault rifles.
"Guns for Cash” was held Friday and Saturday at the Antioch Baptist Church and the Higher Ground Temple—both in Camden.
Chiesa explained that approximately $110,000 in New Jersey's criminal forfeiture funds were used, as well as $6,000 worth of gift cards left over from the City of Camden’s prior gun buyback initiative. Another $39,375 in IOUs were issued that will be honored on Wednesday with criminal forfeiture monies, the attorney general said.
The program was carried out through the cooperative efforts of the Attorney General’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Camden Mayor’s Office, the faith-based community and other stakeholders.