(Camden, NJ) – The Camden County Police Department in partnership with state and federal law enforcement partners announced that they will be participating in a gun buyback program July 28 and 29, at Antioch Baptist Church on Ferry Avenue, in the city’s Centerville neighborhood. The initiative will be the first since 2012 when the state broke a record for firearms turned in for destruction.
Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. applauded the program facilitated by state Attorney General, Chris Porrino, and talked about the importance of getting guns off the streets.
“We know that illegal guns are the main culprit in almost all of our violent crime and homicides. I believe any incentive or opportunity we can create to take them off the street is critical to public safety,” Cappelli said. “We know that guns are now one of the leading causes of death for children, so any progress we can make in getting these guns safely into the hands of law enforcement and destroyed will ultimately save lives.”
Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on those dates, residents can turn in up to three firearms of any type “no questions asked” and receive as much as $200 per weapon. Police officers will be stationed at the three churches to collect and secure the guns. The Attorney General’s Office is paying for the gun buyback with forfeiture funds obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice, the State Police, and the three participating County Prosecutors’ Offices.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the most comprehensive study of firearm injuries and deaths among children, found that from 2007 to 2014, there was a 60% increase in kids aged 10 to 17 committing suicide with a firearm. Each day, 19 children in the nation are either killed or injured by a firearm. On an annual basis that means almost 6,000 wounded and 1,300 killed each year, which puts firearms as the third leading cause of death among kids.
Camden County Police Department Chief Scott Thomson talked about the importance of getting guns off the street and working with prosecutors to ensure violent criminals stay off the streets.
“Guns are one of the most combustible ingredients for a conflict on the street to turn deadly. By eliminating these weapons, we automatically make the community a safer place for children and families in Camden,” Thomson said. “I want to thank the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for their foresight and assistance and the additional resources they are leveraging to make this successful.”
Under standardized pricing set for the tri-county gun buyback, residents will be paid $100 for turning in a rifle or shotgun, $120 for a handgun or revolver, and $200 for an assault weapon. Law enforcement firearms experts will be on hand at each location to assist with the valuation and securing of turned-in weapons.