2600 Guns Turned In At Trenton Buyback Program

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 29, 2013

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A rocket launcher among the weapons collected (photo by Phil Gregory)

More than 2,600 guns were turned in during a state-sponsored gun buyback event at two churches in Trenton.

It yielded a lot more than a bunch of cheap handguns.

Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says 700 of the guns were illegal to own because they were modified or have unlawfully high ammunition capacities.

Among the weapons that people turned in for cash are an antique Uzi, a 12-gauge shotgun with a so-called street sweeper cartridge that can hold 12 rounds, and a shoulder-firing rocket launcher.

“When someone texted me the picture on Saturday I thought it was a joke. It’s a no questions asked and believe me I would have had quite a few questions for that person had we had a chance to ask them questions, but we have a rocket launcher that’s no longer in somebody’s house.”

The weapons will be checked to see if they’re lost or stolen, but no ballistics tests will be performed to see if they were used in crimes.

“All we’re going to do is see if they’re lost or stolen. In my mind if we say we’re going to do some kind of check we’re not going to get any illegal guns first of all, and we¹re not going to have anywhere near the kind of turnout we have.”

Chiesa says the  buyback program helps residents feel safer.

“It’s not just because you’re standing in front of tables of guns. It’s because they’ve heard stories in their neighborhoods about the tech-nines, the street sweepers. Everyone that lives in those neighborhoods knows what those things are, and when they know those things are turned in they feel safer. To me that’s the primary goal.”

The Attorney General says  more buybacks will be held in the future in other New Jersey communities.

“This is something that I will continue to do throughout the state. We’ll have more announcements in the future for other locations to do this. This is a great way to use the forfeiture money to make people feel and make people know that we’re taking this issue seriously.”


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