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Essex County Churches Holding Gun Buyback Today And Tomorrow

Guns turned in at a Dallas gun buyback event (credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Guns turned in at a Dallas gun buyback event (file/credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - After a number of successful guns for cash exchanges in New Jersey, another gun buyback is taking place today and Saturday in Essex County.

In the last gun buyback program in Trenton, someone turned in a one-round shotgun. But it was no ordinary shotgun.

“It was disguised as a billy club. It’s amazing to me how many weapons have been modified,” said New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.

Someone else turned in a rocket launcher.

Chiesa said he’s fine with any weapon weapons being turned.

“With no questions asked, for up to $250 per weapon,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

He expects well over 1,000 firearms to be turned in during this two-day guns for cash exchange at six churches around the county, which may sound odd to some.

But Pastor Bishop Jethro James of Newark’s Paradise Baptist Church said he’s “quite comfortable” with it.

James said just like church cleanses the soul, he this program will help cleanse the community.

This is all part of the state’s effort to cut down on violent crime.

“This is a part of our strategy. We’re doing our gang work. We’re doing our gun trafficking investigations. We’re doing our drug investigations,” Chiesa said. “In my view, it’s a very effective way, and an important way, to spend this forfeiture money.”

Chiesa promised they won’t run out of money. That happened in Trenton and they had to hand out I Owe Yous.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following churches:
- 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

LINK: Gun Buyback FAQs