CAMDEN, N.J. - A historic effort in New Jersey to address the gun violence plaguing the area. Thousands of guns were returned during gun buyback events held the weekend of October 22nd.
"Displayed in front of you are 2,806 guns. The results of the largest single day gun buyback in New Jersey’s history," Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew Bruck stated.
Saturday, October 23rd, nine counties took part in a no questions asked gun buyback.
"Every single gun that you see displayed in front of us is a gun that a six-year-old won’t find in their grandparents attic. It’s a gun that a family won’t find during a mental health crisis or during a domestic incident," Brusck continued.
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Those who turned their guns in received cold, hard cash in exchange for their weapons.
Carla Evans turned in dozens of guns at the Camden buyback event on Saturday, at the Antioch Baptist Church. She says when her grandfather passed away, she knew she wanted to rid herself of the weapons.
"Well, we’re Jehovah Witnesses, so we don’t have guns in the house. And, when he passed away, they were just laying around, so it was time to turn them in," Evans explained.
More than $500,000 was given out in a single day across the state. To help foot some of that bill, local healthcare companies, like Virtua and Cooper Hospital donated money to the effort.
"We often see the end result of gun violence, so we were thrilled to be the first healthcare to partner with law enforcement in the city to buyback some of these weapons," Greg Pease with Virtua explained.
Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer says she was blown away by seeing, in person, what nearly 3,000 guns turned in looks like and what it possibly represents.
"I see lives saved, quite frankly. We have the same thing, we’re just trying to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, being stolen," Mayer commented.