Cash offered in Mercer Co. gun buyback

January 25, 2013 3:53:14 PM PST
The Mercer County "Guns For Cash" program is being held on Friday and Saturday.

The event will be held at both Greater Mount Zion AME Church on Pennington Avenue and Pentacostal Assembly of God Church on North Clinton Avenue.

It offers complete anonymity.

"Really all that's required is that people come in and present their weapon. There's no questions asked," said Angelo Onofri., Trenton's First Assistant Prosecutor.

Residents who relinquish their guns will receive a cash payment of $25for a BB gun to as much as $250 for an assault or illegal weapon.

Police officers are on hand to make sure no one enters with a loaded weapon and to collect and secure the guns.

More than 1,100 weapons were already collected here by 4:30 Friday afternoon.

Officials say some of the smallest weapons like a .25 caliber automatic handgun are the most dangerous.

"These are the most alarming because they can be concealed and they can't be easily detected" said Reed Gusciora, Trenton Assemblyman.

The Attorney General's office is paying for the program with forfeiture funds obtained by its Division of Criminal Justice, so there's no cost to taxpayers.

"It's good that you see the variety of guns collected today, some of which are just making homes safer for the young people who live there. Also safer in the fact that they can't be stolen and used out here for illegal purposes," said Bonnie Watson Coleman, Trenton Assemblywoman.

Officials are quick to point out that they don't thing gun buybacks are the only solution to the problem of gun violence. They are an important part of a larger anti-violence strategy.