By Steve Tawa
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — In an effort to cut violent crime in Camden, where the year-to-date murder rate has hit 64, the state is running a ‘gun amnesty buyback’ program late next week.
New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says the $100,000 ‘guns for cash’ initiative will be paid for by funds seized from convicted drug dealers and other violent offenders:
“The buyback of these dangerous weapons will cost taxpayers nothing,” Chiesa says. “We’re going to use forfeiture funds.”
It’ll take place December 14th and 15th at two Camden churches; Antioch Baptist on Ferry Avenue and Higher Ground on Vine Street. Camden County residents can turn in firearms of any type, “no questions asked.”
‘If you give us an operable higher-end weapon, that could get you up to $250,” says Chiesa. “If you bring in an gun that’s inoperable, the lowest amount is $50.”
A similar ‘guns for cash’ buyback program in Newark in 2009 brought in more than 700 weapons.
Last year, a gun buyback program in Camden netted 50-weapons. Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk notes the payoff for that one was a gift certificate to a Pathmark supermarket.
He thinks the cash offer will attract more interest this year.