More than 1,700 guns were turned in by Essex County residents during a state-sponsored gun buyback event held last week. To be precise, 1,770 guns were turned in including about 70 firearms that are illegal to own because they feature unlawfully high ammunition capacities, have sawed-off barrels or are otherwise modified.

“By any measure, this past weekend’s gun buyback was a success, and another step forward in our continuing effort to make New Jersey residents safer by taking dangerous guns out of circulation,” says State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. “Since we began this buyback program we’ve taken more than a 5,000 firearms off the streets. That’s 5,000 weapons that can never be used to commit a crime, terrorize someone, or maim or kill an innocent person.”

Those who turned in their weapons during the “no questions asked” buyback were paid up to $250 per gun, and the maximum number of guns that could be turned in was three.

Gun Buybacks Not A Panacea

Chiesa admits that gun buybacks alone can’t solve the complex and multi-faceted problem of gun violence, but he calls them an important aspect of a larger strategy to get firearms out of communities and reduce the number of shooting deaths and injuries.

“There is no question that buybacks are part of the overall solution,” explains the Attorney General. “We believe they’re making a difference in New Jersey as evidenced by the 70 illegal firearms collected in this Essex buyback, and the hundreds of illegal guns we’ve taken in since the program began.”

The Following Firearms Were Collected:

  • 1,100 handguns
  • 31 semi-automatic assault weapons
  • AR-15 rifle
  • 2 Uzis