Gun buyback program a success, says Booker
Glenn Townes | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced earlier this week that the city gun amnesty buyback program will resume later this month and offer a financial incentive to residents that relinquish various weapons and firearms to law enforcement officials.
The Gun Amnesty Buyback Program will pay as much as $200 to individuals who turn in rifles, semi-automatic pistols, assault rifles and shotguns at designated drop-off sites across the city--with no questions asked. Newark officials held the first of the gun buyback initiatives in November and more than 300 dangerous weapons were surrendered, with officials depleting the Drug Enforcement Agency and Essex County Prosecutor's Office allocated funds of about $50,000 in just two days. Booker said he expects similar results from the second round of the program.
"Many residents of Newark and surrounding communities may have unwanted firearms in their homes, inherited from family members or left behind by a building's previous occupants, or weapons discarded by fleeing criminals," Booker said. "If you have an unwanted gun in your home, turn it in and you may save the life of yourself or a loved one."
Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy lauds the buyback program as an effective way to reduce violent crime and homicides, and prevent illicit activities in Newark. "We will continue to measure the success of this program on how it affects our overall efforts to reduce gun violence," he said.
Residents can turn in weapons throughout the day and early evening on Thursday, December 17 and Friday, December 18 at several church locations in and around the city, including Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark; the Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington; and St. Paul AME Church in East Orange. Officials add that in order to receive funds, persons surrendering firearms must be residents of Essex County.