Big gun buyback set for late July in New Jersey

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Big gun buyback set for late July in New Jersey. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 4pm on June 27, 2017. (WPVI)

There is a push underway in New Jersey to cut down on violence by getting guns off the streets, and churches are playing a big role.

There will be a statewide gun buyback on July 28 and 29, with drop-off locations in Camden and Mercer counties.

"There is no doubt that fewer guns on the street means that people are safer," said acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

The cash for guns event will offer up to $200 per weapon. Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., citizens can turn in as many as three firearms at Antioch Baptist Church in Camden and Friendship Baptist in Trenton.

"Once a gun has been turned in and melted down it can't be stashed in a vacant building and it can't be used as a community gun," said NJ Attorney General Christopher Porrino.

Participating pastors say they want to do more than preach against guns during Sunday sermons.

"This program here will take them off the street, destroy the gun, so it won't go back out into another child's hand," said Pastor John Taylor of Friendship Baptist Church.

"So many children being shot because of drive-by shootings, and I think each gun that's taken off will save somebody's life," said Lola Clark of Trenton.

During a news conference announcing the gun buyback, officials said they are doing this for victims including eight-year-old Gabby Carter of Camden, who was caught in gun crossfire last August and killed.

"If that gun was off the street and they didn't have the opportunity to grab it, that gun, could she still be here today? The impact that has in the community is devastating," said Dep. Chief Joe Wysocki of Camden County Police.

"We just want to make sure we have safe communities in Camden, Newark and Trenton, and this galvanizes the community in the way they play their part," said Mayor Dana Redd of Camden.

As for the criticism that some of the guns turned in at these events are old, officials say that doesn't make those firearms any less lethal.

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