TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today reminded the residents of Union and Hudson counties that a state-led gun buyback event will take place this coming Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, at a total of six churches – three in each county.
In Union County, the three host locations include the Morning Star Community Christian Center in Linden, the Shiloh Baptist Church Annex in Plainfield, and the New Zion Baptist in Elizabeth.
In Hudson County, the three buyback locations include the Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Bayonne, the Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church in Jersey City and the Saint Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Union City.
Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday and again on Saturday, Hudson County and Union 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 the six 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.
“These buybacks are important not only because they take deadly weapons out of circulation, but because they demonstrate the tremendous power of communities working together toward a common goal – in this case reducing gun violence and saving lives,” said Hoffman. “I invite the residents of Hudson and Union counties to join us in making New Jersey safer this coming weekend by turning in their unwanted firearms.”
This weekend’s gun buyback event is a cooperative effort involving the Hudson and Union County Prosecutor’s Offices, the Union County Department of Public Safety, the Union County Police Department, the state Division of Criminal Justice, the Hudson and Union County Sheriff’s Offices, the New Jersey State Police, the Bayonne, Jersey City, Union City, Elizabeth, Linden and Plainfield police departments, and the faith-based community in Hudson and Union Counties. Carepoint Health has contributed $50,000 to the buyback effort.
Hoffman again thanked the six participating churches in Hudson and Union counties for their willingness to host the weekend’s buyback event, and for their leadership in mustering community support for the program.
To date, he noted, the statewide gun buyback initiative has taken approximately 12,500 lethal firearms out of circulation, including upwards of 6,000 handguns and approximately 1,500 illegal guns – firearms with unlawfully high magazine capacities, or weapons that have been sawed-off or otherwise modified.
Hoffman also urged residents to use extreme caution in transporting their weapons. Under state law, he noted, 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 Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church is located at 39 E. 22nd Street in Bayonne. Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church is located at 661 Montgomery Street in Jersey City, and Saint Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church is located at 615 8th Street – at the intersection of 8th Street and Central Avenue – in Union City.
The Morning Star Community Christian Center is located at 1009 Chandler Avenue in Linden. Shiloh Baptist Church is at 525 West Fourth Street in Plainfield and the New Zion Baptist Church is located at 800 Flora Street in Elizabeth.
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.
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