An anonymous gun buyback program this weekend handed out more than $30,000 for the surrender of 428 guns, including 286 handguns and 15 assault weapons, at locations in Asbury Park and Keansburg, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
The final tally of weapons includes 15 assault weapons, 80 semi-automatic handguns, 206 revolvers, 33 shotguns, and 56 rifles. Thirteen inoperable weapons and 25 BB-guns were also surrendered despite no payout being offered for those items. Included among the assault weapons surrendered were a 9mm Action Arms Israeli Military Industries Uzi; two .45 caliber Tommy Gun replicas; four .30 caliber M-1 carbine military assault rifles; a Soviet military-style AK-47; and a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic military-style weapon similar to the automatic weapons carried by the U.S. armed forces today.
“There was an overwhelming response to the gun buyback program this year. The program took in more weapons and dispersed more cash than last year, and there was a 300 percent increase in the number of assault weapons voluntarily surrendered to the program. The program was a resounding success here in Monmouth County,” Gramiccioni said.
The program allows anyone to anonymously surrender a weapon without fear of having to answer questions about their identity or how they came into possession of a weapon. Once the weapon is surrendered, the gun is checked against a national database to determine if it is stolen. If the weapon is not stolen it is then slated for destruction.
“Out of 428 weapons surrendered to the program, three guns turned out to be stolen. Those weapons will be returned to the rightful owners in North Carolina and California,” said Chief of Detectives Michael Pasterchick, of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
The two-day program disbursed $30,295 for the surrender of the weapons at the Asbury Park Satellite Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Point Comfort Firehouse in Keansburg.
The gun buyback program was made possible, in part, by a generous donation from the Community Foundation of New Jersey and an anonymous donor.
On Friday, 255 firearms were surrendered: 175 in Asbury Park and 80 in Keansburg. On Saturday, 173 firearms were surrendered: 133 in Asbury Park and 40 in Keansburg.