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In an effort to reduce the number of dangerous and unwanted weapons in Burlington County communities, Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs today announced that she is partnering with County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to host a regional gun buyback event later this month. The safety-driven initiative provides residents with an opportunity to voluntarily and anonymously surrender their firearms for cash.
“No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, we can all agree that our neighborhoods and towns should be safe places to live, work, start a family, and retire. That’s what this event is about,” said Freeholder Director Gibbs. “For every firearm that’s voluntarily surrendered, it represents one positive step towards reducing gun violence, one less opportunity for a child to be accidentally harmed, and one less weapon that could be stolen and used to commit a crime.”
The gun buyback will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alpha Baptist Church, located at 15 Rose Street in Willingboro. The County agencies are offering $250 for assault rifles, $150 for handguns, $100 for a rifle or shotgun, and $20 for an inoperable firearm. Residents are permitted to turn in up to three guns each, no questions asked. Ammunition is not accepted, and firearms dealers are precluded from participating in the buyback.
“We are pleased to work with our Freeholder Board, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and our local agencies to make this worthy investment to enhance public safety,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We are especially grateful to the Alpha Baptist Church, its members, and Pastor Scotton for hosting and supporting this gun buyback. We always welcome the opportunity to join with community organizations in activities that strengthen our relationships.”
“Simply put, too many people are dying as a result of gun violence,” Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri said. “Partnering with Burlington County and the Alpha Baptist Church is a valuable opportunity to make our communities safer and take deadly weapons off of the streets.”
Forfeited funds that had been used to facilitate criminal activity or that represent the proceeds of criminal acts are being utilized to purchase the guns that will be voluntarily surrendered.
The County previously held a gun buyback in April 2013. At that time, residents turned in 11 assault rifles, 209 handguns, and 234 rifles, shotguns and inoperable firearms.
Assisting agencies in the buyback on September 22nd include the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department, and the police departments in Burlington City, Burlington Township, Lumberton, Mansfield, Moorestown, Mount Holly, Pemberton Township, Westampton and Willingboro.
For more information on the regional gun buyback, residents may call the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office at (609) 265-5035 or the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office at (609) 989-6309.