Payments of up to $250 per surrendered firearm will be offered to members of the public participating in a gun buyback program scheduled to take place at two locations in Union County this Saturday, October 25, according to a joint announcement by acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, acting Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, Union County Department of Public Safety Director Andrew Moran, Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska, Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Christopher Hudak, Linden Police Chief James Schulhafer, and Plainfield Police Director Carl Riley.
The buyback program will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, rain or shine, at the Morning Star Community Christian Center, 1009 Chandler Avenue in Linden, and the Vision of God Family Worship Church, 350 Leland Avenue in Plainfield.
Representatives of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Police Department, Plainfield Police Division, and Linden Police Department will be working together to collect and maintain possession of the weapons, to ensure the safety of all participants, and to administer the payments. The program is a no-questions-asked, amnesty-based initiative, with no personal information or identification required to surrender firearms and collect payment.
Upon conclusion of the gun buyback program, all collected weapons will be transported to a county facility, where a comprehensive final report will be compiled. The results of the program, including the number and type of firearms collected and the amount of cash expended, are expected to be announced on Monday, after which the collected firearms will be destroyed.
“More than 32,000 Americans die each year from gun violence at a staggering rate of nearly 90 a day, and having fewer guns around could mean they won’t end up in the wrong hands, including our children,” Freeholder Chairman Hudak said, noting that the New Jersey State Assembly recently passed legislation to expand gun buyback programs across the state.
“Former Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich was a strong advocate for safely removing unwanted and illegal guns from circulation. With his untimely passing this past summer, it is an honor to continue our partnership with other public safety agencies for gun buyback initiatives,” acting Sheriff Cryan added.
Saturday’s program will mark the second gun buyback held in as many years in Union County. Last July more than 1,000 guns were collected through a gun buyback conducted in Elizabeth, Linden, and Plainfield, marking one of the most successful buybacks conducted throughout the state in conjunction with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
“We would be thrilled with similar results from this buyback,” acting Prosecutor Park said. “Reducing the number of dangerous weapons in Union County neighborhoods is a step in the right direction when it comes to curbing violent crime.”
For more information about the gun buyback program, go online to ucnj.org.