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State Gun Buyback Program Coming To Monmouth County

State Attorney General says up to $250 paid for guns turned in on March 8, 9

In attempt to get illegal guns off the streets and cut into gun violence, the Attorney General’s Office is staging a state-sponsored gun buyback to be held in Monmouth County early next month, officials said Thursday. 

State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa was in Asbury Park Thursday to announce the March 8 and 9 program would be held in conjunction with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Asbury Park Police Department, the Keansburg Police Department, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and local faith-based community organizations.

Monmouth County residents can turn in up to three unloaded guns at the Shiloh Community Fellowship Ministry in Asbury Park – 142 Dewitt Ave. -- or the St. Ann Catholic Church in Keansburg – 267 Carr Ave. -- between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Chiesa said.

Chiesa said the program is not a panacea for gun violence, but an attempt to curb it.

“I remain troubled by the level of gun violence in New Jersey and in our nation,’’ Chiesa said. “Sadly, the victims of these senseless acts of violence are often innocent people whose only crime was to be minding their own business when someone decided to start shooting.’’

The Monmouth County buyback is the fourth in a series of initiatives that have taken place in Camden, Mercer and Essex counties. Those three programs have collected about 5,400 guns. More than 1,000 of those guns were illegal either because they had large ammunition capacities, had sawed-off barrels or where modified in some way, Chiesa said.

“This is a means of reducing shooting deaths,’’ Chiesa said. “It’s been said before but it’s a thought worth repeating: If we can save even one life through out gun buyback program it’s an effort worth making.’’

Police officers will be on hand to collect and handle the guns. No questions will be asked in the amnesty program and cash will be paid on the spot -- up to $250 for each gun, Chiesa said.

During the two-day buyback program held in Camden city, Chiesa said, 1,100 guns were taken in. More than 2,600 guns were taken in during the Mercer County event and another 1,700 were taken during the Essex County buyback, including one AR-17 automatic rifle similar to the one used by the Newtown, Conn., shooter, Chiesa said.

“I was stunned,’’ he said. “Those are guns that are no longer able to hurt police officers, no longer are able hurt innocent people and no longer able to terrorize the communities that they find themselves in.’’

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office last held “Guns For Cash’’ program in 2011 in Asbury Park, Keansburg, and Freehold Township. Close to 300 guns were bought for nearly $12,000.

Nj Ghost February 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM
A Resident. I'm sure you're intentions are well meant however, The ability to defend ones self and family from harm from others is in the bill of rights and is encompassed in our rights from God which is Life, liberty and the persuit of happiness . This is placed second only to the first which as you know guarentees the right of free speech along with the freedom from religon. I believe that without the second you can't have the first or anyother for that matter.Therefore I believe that the second is the most important of them all. The govt. has already made great inroads into the 5th , 4th , 9th as well as the 10th, we must guard against and defend the second with great ferocity as all others depend on it. The Govt is like a spoiled child and therefore quite dangerous.
Robert Way February 23, 2013 at 01:05 PM
Sorry Resident, you fail to realize that our government did not "create" our right to keep and bear arms, our Founders acknowledged the right we already had. I guess our government "created" our right to free speech as well and we should all be happy with the fact that we serve at their mercy and have been spared thus far in that they allow us to speak freely amongst ourselves.
Robert Way February 23, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Right on point @NJ Ghost, it is unfortunate that more and more folks are becoming so short-sighted regarding the Second Amendment under the false notion that if we just give up a little more of our Liberty today we will all be "more secure". After all, we are a "modern society".....
Dame Bridgid February 23, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Congratulations for giving criminals an incentive to steal more weapons for pocket money. Will law abiding citizens with legal permits get their stolen weapons back from the police after this buy back? If not; they are acting as accomplices to that theft, by not returning the stolen item to the rightful owner. After all; if it was a car it would be returned.
Katheleen Mullen May 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM
if someone gives up a gun “with no questions asked,” and someone else destroys the gun, how is a district attorney to know that the person giving up the gun broke no laws other than the law against unlawful possession? What about the law against unlicensed transport? Suppose he stole the gun from someone else? Now the original/lawful owner won’t get his gun back? Where's the NJ statute that allows; the anonymous surrender of firearms; the receipt of surrendered firearms by churches; the unlicensed transport of guns to churches; and the destruction without investigation of guns (which may be potential criminal evidence or stolen property that should be returned to their rightful owners). Just sayin.

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