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Gun Buyback Planned For Next Weekend At Essex County Churches

Guns at a buyback event in Los Angeles (credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Guns at a buyback event (credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - The day after Valentine’s Day ill mark the start of a two day guns for cash exchange at six churches in Essex County.

“Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Essex County residents will be able to turn in as many as three firearms at these churches with no questions,” New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said Thursday.

People can get up to $250 per weapon. Chiesa said this buyback will cost New Jersey taxpayers nothing.

“We’re using criminal forfeiture funds to pay for the buyback. That’s money seized from drug dealers and gang members,” he said.

“It’s programs like this that actually work,” Newark Mayor Cory Booker told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

He expects over 1,000 guns to be turned in at the six churches.

On that subject, what about bringing guns to church?

“Quite comfortable. We’ve been part of a gun buyback before,” said Paradise Baptist Church Pastor Bishop Jethro James.

He said the church helps cleanse the soul and community.

The location of the six churches participating in the Feb 15 and 16 buybacks are as follows:

St. Paul AME Church, 15-21 Sanford Street, East Orange
Christian Love Baptist Church, 830 Lyons Avenue, Irvington
Union Baptist Church, 12-14 Midland Avenue, Montclair
Calvary Gospel Church, 17 Lyons Avenue, Newark
Paradise Baptist Church, 348-352 15th Avenue, Newark
The Church of Epiphany, 105 Main Street, Orange.

Residents with questions about the gun buyback program can call the Attorney General’s Citizen Services unit at 609-984-5828.