UNION COUNTY, NJ - County officials are encouraging local residents to consider participating this week in a state-run gun buyback program in Newark, Camden and Trenton.

New Jersey residents can turn in up to three firearms -- no questions asked -- and receive cash payouts of up to $200 per firearm, the Union County Prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church on Lyons Avenue in Newark, Antioch Baptist Church on Ferry Avenue in Camden and the Friendship Baptist Church on Perry Street in Trenton.

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Residents will not have to provide identification, explain where any of the firearms came from, why they’re in a person’s possession or if any of the weapons are registered, according to a program flyer.

The event is organized in part by the state Attorney General’s Office. Two law gun buybacks were held in Union County since 2013 which resulted in 1,500 firearms being collected, the prosecutor’s office said.

“One of this Office’s top priorities is investigating, prosecuting, and preventing violent crime – and reducing the number of dangerous weapons in Union County neighborhoods is a simple, effective way to work toward that goal,” acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said in a statement.

Up to three firearms may be turned in per person. Residents will receive $100 for a rifle or shotgun, $120 for a handgun or revolver, and $200 for an assault weapon.

Payouts will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Police officers and law enforcement firearms experts will be on hand to secure the firearms and make valuations.

Under state law, weapons being transported to the gun buyback locations must be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gun box, or securely tied package and locked in the trunk of the vehicle in which it is being transported.

Driving to and from the locations must “include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances,” according to state statute 2C:39-6g

Ammunition will not be accepted at the event and guns must be unloaded prior to handing them over.

Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, Public Safety Director Andrew Moran and Freeholders Chairman Bruce Bergen released a joint statement with the prosecutor's office Thursday supporting the program.

“These are weapons that are out of the picture for good – they’ll never be a factor in an intentional or accidental incident that results in an injury or death – and all of us are a little safer because of it,” Cryan said in a statement.

The state Attorney General’s Office is paying for the gun buyback with forfeiture funds obtained by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey State Police and the three participating county prosecutors’ offices.

The Attorney General’s Office also announced its focus on the “Triggerlock” program, which carriers longer prison terms for high-priority gun offenders who are arrested. 

For more information about the buyback program, call the Attorney General's Citizen Services unit at 609-984-5828 or visit www.nj.gov/guns.

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