New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced today Jan. 29, 2013, that more than 2,600 guns were turned in by Mercer County residents during a state-sponsored gun buyback event held at two churches in Trenton this past Friday and Saturday.
According to Chiesa, a total of 2,604 firearms , including 700 guns illegal to own because they feature unlawfully high ammunition capacities, have sawed-off barrels or are otherwise modified. Among other weapons, the Mercer buyback brought in more than 100 sawed-off shotguns, nearly 1,000 handguns, four Tech-9 semi-automatic pistols, two Hi-Point semi-automatic assault rifles like those used in the Columbine shootings, a shotgun disguised as a nightstick, and an antique Uzi. Also sold back during the event were: two Thompson submachine guns, an Egyptian fully-automatic assault rifle, a World War II vintage Luger pistol, at least three M-1 carbine rifles, a 12-gauge shotgun with a “street sweeper” drum cartridge capable of holding 20 rounds of ammunition, a shoulder-firing rocket launcher and a tear-gas/riot gun.
It makes you wonder who your neighbor really is and just what do they have.
“I’m not here today suggesting buybacks are the singular answer,” Chiesa said during a press conference at the Trenton Police Department’s Property and Evidence Building. “However, there’s no question that buybacks are part of the solution, and we believe that they’re making a difference in New Jersey as evidenced by the 700 illegal firearms collected in this buyback.”
“Over the span of just two weekends in two cities,” Chiesa said, “we’ve taken upwards of 4,000 firearms, the vast majority of them operable, out of circulation. And if the turnouts we’ve seen, and the comments we’ve overheard, are any indication, New Jersey citizens are squarely behind this initiative. That’s because they recognize that having fewer guns on the streets can only help us to reduce the number of people being maimed or killed by gun violence.”
According to Chiesa, a total of $324,000 in State criminal forfeiture funds were used to buy back firearms , more than 90 percent of them operable, during the two-day Mercer County effort. He explained that, four hours into Saturday’s buyback activity at the two churches, residents began to receive vouchers after the on-hand supply of forfeiture cash was exhausted. The vouchers can be redeemed this coming Friday, February 1, from noon to 8 p.m., at the Duck Island office of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, located at 1589 Lamberton Road, Trenton.