January 29, 2013: A shoulder-firing rocket launcher was turned in during the buyback. People got up to $250 per weapon.
State and county officials say that 700 of the 2,600 weapons collected during a two-day gun buyback in Trenton were illegal -- including a shoulder-firing rocket launcher.
The event brought in more than 100 sawed-off shotguns, nearly 1,000 handguns, four Tech-9 semi-automatic pistols, two Hi-Point semi-automatic assault rifles like the ones used in the Columbine shootings, a shotgun disguised as a nightstick, an antique Uzi, two submachine guns, an Egyptian fully-automatic assault rifle, a World War II vintage Luger pistol, and at least three M-1 carbine rifles.
"Just because the gun violence problem is big doesn't mean that we're going to throw up our hands," said New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa. He said more than 90 percent of all the weapons purchased in the state's second gun buyback were operable.
The state paid up to $250 per weapon. The response was better than they expected, so they ran out of money. After they used up about $324,000 from the state's guns-for-cash program, they gave out cash vouchers worth close to $100,000.
The first buyback in Camden in December netted more than 1,100 guns.
"Over the span of just two weekends in two cities, we've taken upwards of 4,000 firearms -- the vast majority of them operable -- out of circulation. And if the turnouts we've seen and the comments we've heard are any indication, New Jersey citizens are squarely behind the initiative," Chiesa said in a statement on Tuesday.
Chiesa said there are plans for another gun purchase program but he does not yet know when or where it will be held.