Bergen Gun Buyback Coming to Fair Lawn
The county is offering up to $300 for firearms in April gun buyback.
Officials will hold a gun buyback in April at locations across Bergen County, including at Fair Lawn synagogue Temple Beth Sholom, the sheriff's office announced Thursday.
Funded through the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office by seized assets from criminal cases, the program will pay up to $300 for firearms and be offered at 11 houses of worship.
“Gun violence knows no bounds,” Sheriff Michael Saudino said in a statement. “Intentional violence and accidental discharges involving firearms can destroy families and communities. If we can take just one dangerous weapon out of our homes or off our streets, we can make Bergen County a safer place for all residents.”
Firearms experts from the sheriff's office will be on hand April 13 and 14 at the gun collection locations to help visitors complete paperwork and secure the firearms. Officials will also provide complimentary trigger locks and gun safety information.
Compensation will vary based on the type of firearm, the sheriff's office said. Officials will offer $20 for non-operational guns, $80 for rifles and shotguns, $100 for handguns and $300 for automatic assault weapons and machine guns.
Individuals who choose to participate in the buyback may remain anonymous. There will be no questions asked, Sheriff's Office spokesman Richard Moriarty said.
The sheriff's office was moved to hold a gun buyback after public requests for action started pouring in following December's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Moriarty said.
"We started getting phone calls in our office on what can we do? Is there anything we can do?" he said. "The term gun buyback started popping up again."
The program will be Bergen County's second gun buyback, officials said. In 2010, the sheriff's office netted 708 firearms, including two assault weapons.
"We looked back and said, 'This worked. Is there a better time than now to give this another chance?" Moriarty said. "One of the strongest requests came from Garfield. They said, 'We’re serious about it.' Other towns started coming on board and it just grew and grew."
All returned firearms should be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gun box, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which they are being transported, the sheriff's office advised. Ammunition should be transported in a separate container.
The schedule and list of collection sites is below. For more information, call the sheriff's community outreach unit at 201-336-3540.
April 13 - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
St. Joseph’s Center
Rhema Worship Center Church
156 Passaic Street
April 14 - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.