Spurred by Conn. shooting, residents turn in 1,137 firearms in Camden buyback (with comment by PHB)
Jason Laday/South Jersey Times
NOTE: This is an example of how brain-dead are the people, and how ignorant they are of their Constitution of the Republic. ---PHB
CAMDEN — On the day following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Camden and state law enforcement officials saw record-breaking numbers of firearms purchased in a gun buyback, reporting 1,137 guns turned in following the tragedy that killed 20 children.
According to New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, officials spent approximately $110,000 in criminal forfeiture funds — and handed out $6,000 in gift cards — in exchange for the firearms before running out of money by 2 p.m. Saturday, forcing them to issue nearly $40,000 in IOUs before the end of the two-day buyback at 8 p.m.
Chiesa stated many residents on the second day of the buyback specifically cited the Newtown shooting as their reason for turning in their weapons, adding, “they said they wanted these guns out of their house now.”
“Let me be clear,” said Chiesa. “I am not suggesting that a buyback such as this could have prevented the shooting in Newtown, which was a cowardly act, nor am I suggesting that gun buybacks are some sort of magic solution to the complex and multi-faceted problem of violence in our society.
“But we have to keep forging ahead using all of the strategies at our disposal.”
The gun buyback stretched two days — last Friday and Saturday, at two city churches — and offered amnesty as well as up to $250 for each firearm turned in to authorities.
While details on the possible criminal history of the weapons were unavailable, it was revealed Tuesday by the attorney general that many of the “long guns” turned in to authorities over the weekend had been used to kill Camden city police officers.
Among the arsenal presented in a press conference were five fully-automatic assault weapons, including two Intratec TEC-DC9 — commonly known as a TEC-9 — and an Uzi 9mm submachine gun.
Also collected were two Chinese SKS assault rifles — one with bayonet — a 10-gauge double-barreled elephant shotgun, hundreds of semi-automatic weapons, dozens of sawed-off shotguns and piles upon piles of revolvers and other handguns.
According to Chiesa, “plenty” — although he could not give a precise figure — had been “community guns,” stored in Dumpsters or under street lights and available to anyone who knows their location.
At least two 1890s-era British Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifles could be found among other older, rusted firearms. Officials said 90 percent of the guns collected in the buyback were functional, but those that were not could still be redeemed for less money.
“Any gun taken off the street is worth the effort,” said Camden Mayor Dana Redd. “We know the community is excited for these kinds of efforts — we had attempted a similar event last year, but this year is has picked up quite a lot.”
She added: “I’m sure there are other guns still out there we would like to get in another buyback.”