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Police, Prosecutors Hold Gun Buyback In Bergen County

Hackensack Gun Buyback

The results of the Bergen County gun buyback at a church in Hackensack, N.J. (Credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office joined local police departments for a gun buyback at several churches throughout the county this weekend.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, one woman, Janet, arrived to surrender her handgun at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, N.J., before the doors opened.

“It’s a small revolver. It’s a .38,” she said.

The Hackensack resident said she bought it for security.

“Two years ago, I was a victim of a home invasion, and quite frankly, it was a security blanket for me for a while,” Janet said.

But now, she said, it is time to let the firearm go.

“You want to make sure that the gun is returned to a very safe place so there’s no chance of it getting in to the wrong hands,” she said.

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino said the buyback program is voluntary and does not infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment rights.

“This is for Mrs. Jones, for whom maybe her husband passed away and he had a handgun, and she doesn’t know what to do with it; doesn’t feel comfortable in the home, and this is an excellent way to get rid of it and get something for it,” he said.

Saudino said he does not expect any criminals to turn up with guns to hand in, but he said the program is worth it anyway.

“At the end of the day, the bad guys aren’t going to be online here selling us their guns, unfortunately,” he said. “If there was a way to get those, absolutely. But you know what? Houses are burglarized, and guns are stolen that get into the hands of the bad guys,” Saudino said. “So this is preventative in that regard.”

This is the second time Bergen County officials have held a gun buyback program. The going rate for assault-style weapons and machine guns is $300, for shotguns and rifles $80, and for handguns $100 – no questions asked.

The buyback was to be held at five churches on Saturday, and six on Sunday.

As of the late afternoon, two assault rifles had been turned in at another participating church in Park Ridge, N.J., Miller reported. A news conference was scheduled for noon Tuesday to announce the results.

Saudino said county prosecutors gave the sheriff’s office $75,000 for the program.

The participating churches and other places of worship are:

Saturday:
• Our Lady of Mount Vernon-St. Joseph’s Center, 188 MacArthur Ave., Garfield;
• Mount Olive Baptist Church, 260 Central Ave., Hackensack;
• Rhema Worship Center Church, 156 Passaic St., Hackensack;
• First Presbyterian Church, 401 Maywood Ave., Maywood;
• Our Lady of Mercy Church, 46 Pascack Rd., Park Ridge.

Sunday:
• St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 225 Center St., New Milford;
• New Hope Baptist Church, 214 Berdan Pl., Hackensack;
• Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 90 W. Demarest Ave., Englewood;
• Temple Beth Sholom, 40 Fair Lawn Ave., Fair Lawn;
• Trinity Baptist Church, 218 Passaic St., Hackensack;
• First Baptist Church, 1592 Teaneck Rd., Teaneck.

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