Large turnout for Camden gun buyback
CAMDEN, NJ - December 15, 2012 (WPVI) -- Before the news broke of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, two churches in Camden offered money in exchange for guns and the city had a bigger than expected turnout.
Even veteran cops were stunned by the turnout for the gun buyback program in Camden County. The state sponsored program was funded with $100,000 in criminal forfeiture money.
More than 100 firearms had been turned in by midday on Friday. Gun owners received $25 for BB guns, $50 inoperable firearms, $150 for revolvers, semi automatics, shotguns and rifles and $250 for assault weapons.
All those who turned in guns were promised anonymity and no questions asked. People came from all over the county.
"The more we unarm ourselves then maybe we can stop some of the violence that's going on. If we don't have the firearm then we can't use the firearm," said James Green.
"I turned in a couple shotguns that were lying around collecting dust. I didn't need them lying around the house," said George.
Camden on a per capita basis is one of America's most violent cities. However it wasn't the violent criminals turning in guns but rather older more thoughtful people who wanted them out of their homes for safety purposes.
"I don't want them around the house anymore so I brought them here," said Henry Budniak.
Some waited for two hours for their transaction to be completed. By the barrel full, cops hauled the guns away to be destroyed.
"These guns are coming from people's homes and many times end up as items of burglary, end up on our streets and in the wrong hands. We would much rather have custody of these guns now as opposed to at the scene of a crime after a shooting," said Chief Scott Thomas, Camden Police.
The gun buyback will continue Saturday from 8:00am - 8:00pm at Antioch Baptist Church at 690 Ferry Avenue and Higher Ground Church of God in Christ at 203 Vine Street.
new jersey, camden, guns, local/state, vernon odom
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