|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa today reminded Essex County residents that a state-led gun buyback event will take place this coming Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16 at a total of six churches in five municipalities – Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Orange and East Orange.
Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday and again Saturday, Essex County residents can turn in a maximum of three firearms of any type “no questions asked” and receive up to $250 per weapon.
Police officers will be stationed at each of the six churches to collect and secure guns. The churches are: St. Paul AME Church in East Orange, Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington, Union Baptist Church in Montclair, The Church of Epiphany in Orange, the Calvary Gospel Church in Newark, and the Paradise Baptist Church in Newark.
The Attorney General’s Office is paying for the two-day buyback event with criminal forfeiture funds provided by its Division of Criminal Justice. The Essex County Prosecutors’ Office is also contributing forfeiture monies.
Chiesa thanked the pastors of the six churches hosting this weekend’s buyback activity for their help, and for the leadership they’ve shown in gaining neighborhood-level support for the buyback program.
He again urged residents of the five host municipalities, as well as from throughout Essex County, to take advantage of the chance to earn cash by ridding themselves of dangerous firearms.
The Attorney General also reminded residents that the gun buyback is for firearms only – not ammunition. He urged those planning to sell back their guns to use extreme caution in transporting the weapons.
Under state law, Chiesa explained, guns must be transported unloaded and secured in a closed and fastened case, gun box or securely tied package, or be locked in the trunk of the vehicle in which they’re being carried.
The state-sponsored Essex County buyback event this Friday and Saturday will be the third gun buyback led by the Attorney General’s office in as many months.
During a two-day gun buyback for Camden County residents held last December in Camden city, more than 1,100 guns were taken in at two church locations. During a two-day buyback for Mercer County residents held last month in Trenton, more than 2,600 guns were turned in.
In both buybacks, deadly assault weapons and large quantities of handguns and sawed-off shotguns were among the weapons taken in. The vast majority of the weapons – more than 90 percent – were assessed as operable by law enforcement firearms experts stationed on site for the buybacks.
According to Chiesa, this third state-sponsored “Guns for Cash” buyback event is a cooperative effort involving the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the faith-based community and the mayors and police executives of the five host municipalities of Irvington, Montclair, Orange, East Orange and Newark.
The location of the six churches participating in the Feb 15 and 16 buybacks are as follows: St. Paul AME Church, 15-21 Sanford Street, East Orange; Christian Love Baptist Church, 830 Lyons Avenue, Irvington; Union Baptist Church, 12-14 Midland Avenue, Montclair; Calvary Gospel Church, 17 Lyons Avenue, Newark; Paradise Baptist Church, 348-352 15th Avenue, Newark; The Church of Epiphany, 105 Main Street, Orange.
Residents with questions about the gun buyback program can call the Attorney General’s Citizen Services unit at (609) 984-5828 or visit www.nj.gov/guns.
Video footage and photographs from the two previous gun buybacks in Camden and Trenton are also available by going to www.nj.gov/guns.