NEWARK, NJ - Essex County residents will have an opportunity to turn in unwanted guns in a gun buyback program sponsored by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the Essex County Bar Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Essex County Bar Assocation.  During the one-day program this fall guns can be turned in with no questions asked and gun owners will be given up to $200 per gun.

Newark – Acting Essex Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino and Essex County Bar Association President Raj Gadhok announced today that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Essex County Bar Foundation, the related charitable arm of the ECBA, are co-sponsoring a one-day gun buyback program this fall.

The initiative is the first time in New Jersey that a law enforcement agency has held a gun buyback funded with money raised by a non-profit foundation. According to a press release, the Bar Foundation is raising funds to pay for the gun buyback. The Prosecutor’s Office, along with the New Jersey State Police, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office and the West Orange Police Department, will handle the logistics of collecting the guns, securing them and providing gun owners with cash payments.

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“Every year 1,300 kids are killed by handguns. It’s the third leading cause of death of children. We know we cannot stop all gun violence or get all guns off the street, but if we can take away a potential source that would be a great accomplishment. It makes our job easier,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino.  “If we can keep a gun that’s just lying around the house out of the hands of a felon or a child who might commit suicide or prevent an accidental shooting we’ve made a difference."

  “Gun-related violence is higher in Essex County than any other county in the state. We must get illegal guns off our streets.  It is not only the right thing to do, but it is our obligation as leaders in our communities to protect our children, our families and our friends,” said Raj Gadhok, president of the ECBA. "In order to make the program a success, we need to generate funds to buy back these weapons.”

Barry Mandelbaum of Mandelbaum Salsburg, P.C. in Roseland, pledged the first $5,000 and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office provided a match of $5,000 together with significant in kind contributions of the use of personnel to run the operations of the program. 

“Similar programs held in Essex in the past have cost more than $100,000  so the need for support, both corporate and personal, is greater than ever,” said Gadhok.

Donations are being accepted on the Essex County Bar Foundation’s website: www.essexbar.com.

If you have questions regarding donations or support, please contact Wendy E. Deer, Esq. at the Essex County Bar Association at 973-622-6207 ext. 11