ELIZABETH — Union County officials and church leaders joined Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman to announce a state-sponsored gun buyback program for the residents of both Hudson and Union Counties on July 12 and 13.
Three Union County churches are participating in the program: The New Zion Baptist Church located at 800 Flora Street in Elizabeth, The Morning Star Community Christian Center located at 1009 Chandler Avenue in Linden, and Shiloh Baptist Church at 525 West Fourth Street in Plainfield. The Hudson County locations include Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Bayonne, Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church in Jersey City and Saint Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Union City.
Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on July 12 and 13, Hudson and Union County residents can turn in up to three firearms “no questions asked” at any of the six church locations and receive cash payment of up to $250 per weapon, depending on the type of gun and its condition. Police officers will be stationed at the churches to collect and secure the guns. The Attorney General’s Office is paying for the buyback with forfeiture funds obtained by its Division of Criminal Justice. The Hudson and Union County Prosecutor’s Offices are also contributing forfeiture monies, as are the Union County Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
“To date, our statewide gun buyback initiative has taken approximately 12,500 lethal firearms out of circulation,” Hoffman said during a press conference to announce the Hudson-Union buyback held at the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
“The vast majority of these weapons have been operable and capable of either maiming someone or killing them,” Hoffman said. “As we all recognize, there are far too many guns on the street and too many people dying as a result of gun violence,” Hoffman added. “I look forward to a day when gun violence is not as pervasive in our society, and we can direct our attention to other critical public safety issues. But we aren’t there yet, and our campaign to stop the needless bloodshed goes on full force.”
“Many firearms are purchased legally and used properly, but now, for any number of reasons, owners may wish to discard them,” said Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park. “A buyback program is a valuable resource for those owners wishing to properly dispose of unwanted guns to prevent them from winding up in the wrong hands and potentially causing harm to others.”
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.
The gun buyback program in Union County is also being made as per Union County Freeholder Chairman Carter’s initiatives for 2013.
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