The state's latest gun buyback initiative has removed 1,599 guns from the streets of Hudson and Union Counties.  Acting Attorney General John Hoffman made the announcement today.

According to Hoffman, a total of 1,010 firearms were turned in by Union County residents at three churches in that county and a total of 589 weapons were turned in by Hudson County residents at three churches there.  That pushes the total number of weapons collected through the state's gun buyback program to 14,000.

"The buyback effort here in Hudson and Union counties was a success by any measures.  First and foremost, we helped make communities safer by getting lethal firearms off the streets, including many weapons that are illegal to own because of their extraordinary destructive power," said Hoffman.  "Through this effort, we also reached a new milestone this past weekend, 14,000 firearms taken out of circulation since we began the statewide initiative.  That's 14,000 fewer weapons out there to be used in a crime, or to claim someone's life in a tragic accident."

Among other weapons, the two-day buyback in Hudson and Union counties brought in a total of 713 handguns, 12 assault weapons and more than 150 illegal guns which were sawed-off or otherwise modified or were unlawful to own because of their excessively high ammunition magazine capacities.

“It is truly sobering to see the array of deadly firearms collected here today,” said Hoffman.  “It brings home, viscerally, why these gun buybacks are so important, and why everyone who participated here in Hudson and Union Counties has made a difference.  Were it not for our buyback, all of these firearms, the vast majority of them operable, would still be out there with the potential to be stolen, to fall tragically into the hands of a curious child, or to be stashed in a central location and used by criminals as so-called community guns.”