Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, July 24, 2017

Plainfield residents eligible for gun buyback this weekend

Plainfield residents are eligible to participate
in this weekend's gun buyback program.

Plainfield residents are eligible to participate in a no-questions-asked gun buyback program this weekend.

Cash payouts of up to $200 per firearm are being made available to members of the public, according to acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, Freeholders Chairman Bruce Bergen, Sheriff Joseph P. Cryan, and Union County Public Safety Director Andrew Moran.

The event is being held from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29. One of the three locations for the buyback, being coordinated by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, is the Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church on Lyons Avenue in Newark. The other locations include Antioch Baptist Church in Camden and Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton.

New Jersey residents can turn in up to three firearms of any type, no questions asked, and receive payouts of $100 for a rifle or shotgun, $120 for a handgun or revolver, and $200 for an assault weapon. Police officers and law enforcement firearms experts will be on hand to assist with the valuation and securing of turned-in weapons. 

Pursuant to New Jersey Statute 2C:39-6g, all 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. Also, pursuant to the statute, driving to and from the locations must "include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances."

Since 2013, two law enforcement-run gun buybacks were held in Union County-- including Plainfield-- resulting in the collection of nearly 1,500 firearms.

"We were extremely pleased with the results of our previous events, and we recommend and encourage that any resident of Union County seeking to dispose of a firearm or firearms participate in this program," Prosecutor Park 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."

"It's an imperative for us in law enforcement to do everything in our power to take as many guns off our streets as possible, and buybacks such as these are useful mechanisms through which many hundreds of firearms are collected at once," Sheriff Cryan said. "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."

The 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, in Camden, Essex, and Mercer counties. Payouts will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The gun buyback has also been promoted through radio, newspaper, bus transit, social media, and other advertising throughout the month. Any resident with questions about the buyback effort can call the Attorney General's Citizen Services unit at 609-984-5828 or visit; frequently asked questions and answers can also be accessed online at

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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