A recent survey by SafeWise found that 67% of New Jersey residents are highly concerned about gun violence daily. Nearly half of Garden State residents are worried a gun incident could happen to them.
Recent tragedies of violence include the killing of 10-year-old Jasayde Holder, who was fatally shot during a drive-by shooting on the Fourth of July in Vineland. Last week in Perth Amboy, six people were injured during a shooting at a bar. Over the weekend in Jersey City, a 26-year-old man was fatally shot. Officers found the victim dead when they were responding to a call of shots fired in the area.
As part of efforts to reduce gun violence, Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced gun buyback events are being held simultaneously in Passaic, Essex, and Atlantic counties on Saturday, August 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Residents can turn in firearms with “no questions asked” and receive as much as $250 per weapon. Police officers will be stationed at each buyback location to collect and secure the guns.
“The rise in shootings across our country and throughout our state is deeply painful, and our Office is deploying all available tools to attack the problem from every possible angle,” said Bruck. “This buyback initiative is part of our broad-based, ongoing efforts to stop the violence in our communities and save lives by reducing the number of firearms in circulation.”
The gun buybacks will be held at Gilmore Memorial Tabernacle and St. Luke’s Baptist Church in Patterson, New Vision Baptist Church in East Orange, the Prudential Center in Newark, and Atlantic City Fire Station No. 1.
“We are taking every step possible to combat the rise in gun violence across our state,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “With this no-questions-asked gun buyback initiative, we hope to reach the communities that have been most devastated by gun violence. We are committed to building a safer future in New Jersey.”
The gun buyback initiative is funded with forfeiture dollars obtained by the local police departments and county prosecutors’ offices, as well as forfeiture funds from the Division of Criminal Justice.
“The right to bear arms should be done with care and responsibility and in compliance with the law,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “However, we must get illegal and unwanted guns out of communities, specifically as we deal with a national rise in gun violence. Important initiatives like this gun buyback program coupled with alternative violence reduction initiatives will reduce the needless tragedies that guns can create and save countless lives.”