When it comes to the geography of New Jersey, the Jersey Shore area extending from Monmouth County to Cape May is considered to be the safety zone, at least that’s the perception of those who live there and for the most part is true with a few exceptions. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that more than 1,500 guns were turned in by Monmouth County residents during a state-sponsored gun buyback event held at churches in Asbury Park and Keansburg this past weekend. That announcement was made on March 12, 2013, by Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa .
That’s more than the number of firearms turned in by Camden County which only yielded 1,137 guns in the “Cash for Guns” program. Camden County is a high crime area, so of course you can also look at that result in two ways. It does not mean there are more guns in Monmouth County, just more people willing to turn them in, which could mean there are more guns on the streets in Camden County.
The number of guns obtained in Monmouth County brings to 7,092 the total number of firearms collected so far as a result of four state-led gun buybacks. A buyback held in Camden County last December yielded 1,137 guns, and a buyback in Mercer County in January brought in another 2,604 firearms. A February buyback held in Essex County resulted in the collection of another 1,770 guns.
As the right to own guns is a controversial one nation- wide and here in the Garden State Chiesa said this past weekend’s strong turn-out by Monmouth County residents demonstrates continued support of the State-led buyback initiative by citizens concerned about gun violence and eager to help rid their communities of dangerous firearms.
“Every gun turned in during this program had the potential to harm someone, whether intentionally or accidentally, because no one is immune to the potential of gun violence, especially police officers and any of our sons and daughters,” said Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. “The voluntary surrender of these weapons simply makes our streets and neighborhoods safer.”
Among other weapons, the Monmouth County gun buyback this past weekend brought in 761 handguns, 409 rifles and 356 shotguns.