An Atlantic County gun buyback program, the fifth such program held in New Jersey since December, brought in more than 2,000 guns, including 14 assault rifles and hundreds of handguns, Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced Monday.
The two day buyback was held in Pleasantville and Atlantic City over the weekend.
Officials say the 2,061 guns turned in by Atlantic County residents brings the total number of firearms collected across the state to 9,153. Camden, Essex, Mercer and, most recently, Monmouth counties have already held similar programs since late last year.
Chiesa, in a Monday afternoon news conference, said the guns taken off the streets in Atlantic County represent the concern of residents for the safety of their communities.
"Through their strong desire to have safer neighborhoods, we got more than 2,000 guns out of circulation. Those guns can never be stolen in a burglary and then used in a street crime. They'll never be used to terrorize an innocent person, turn an argument into a tragedy, kill a curious child or claim the life of one of our brave police officers," Chiesa said in a statement.
More than 400 shotguns, 411 rifles and 348 semi-automatic handguns were taken in during Atlantic County's gun buyback program.
The weapons were purchased with approximately $280,000 in state and county criminal forfeiture funds, Chiesa said.
The programs offer residents the opportunity to turn in their weapons without any questions asked from law enforcement. Gun owners were paid up to $250 per gun and were allowed to turn in a maximum of three guns.
A fire in Ocean County that is threatening homes, forcing the evacuation of homes and the closure of a local school, continues to burn Thursday afternoon.
Wildfire danger continues into Thursday evening with low humidities and dry conditions. Winds continue to gust close to 30 mph.
A report of a deadly shooting Thursday morning just off Widener University's campus led to an alert urging school community members to "please remain indoors until further notice," but police have now given the all-clear.