Camden, New Jersey, one of the deadliest towns in America, launched a gun buyback program on the same day as the Newtown massacre and officials on Tuesday stated that over 1,000 guns were sold back, no questions asked, setting a record.
The exact total was 1,137 guns which well surpassed the previous record of 700 weapons from a 2009 Essex County Event.
Among the arsenal were many rifles, shotguns (some of the sawed-off variety) and pistols. There was a century old antique weapon, a rifle used for hunting elephants and five fully automatic weapons. It is estimated that 90% of the returned guns were in working condition, with many of them illegal under state law.
Here is a video report filed by WHYY
Attorney General Jeff Chiesa said:
“In only two days our gun buyback program took in more than 1,000 guns and deadly weapons from around the state. Interestingly, we took in twice as many guns on Saturday (the day following the Newtown massacre) as we did on Friday. We do know that a number of people remarked when they brought their guns in that they wanted these guns out of their house now.”
The state had over $100,000 to give to those who turned in guns as well as an additional $6,000 remaining from a previous program. By 2 PM on Saturday the funds were dried up. In response, workers offered IOUs that wound up totalling over $40,000 to those who brought in guns after the pot dried up.
Individuals were allowed to turn in up to 3 weapons and were paid up to $250 for each one. A vast majority of the weapons retained from the buyback will be destroyed.