Gun buyback program's big haul at the Shore

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced Monday that more than 2,000 guns — including 14 assault weapons and 1,000 handguns — had been turned in during a state-sponsored gun buyback held at churches in Atlantic County over the weekend.

The number of guns obtained in five statewide weapons buyback programs held since December — including in Camden, Mercer, Essex, and Monmouth counties — totals 9,153 firearms, according to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

Among the weapons surrendered in Atlantic County were 199 illegal firearms. The weapons turned in also included 445 shotguns, 411 rifles, and 348 semiautomatic handguns. Those turning in guns were paid up to $250 per weapon.

Chiesa said the “strong turnout” at the Faith Baptist Church in Pleasantville and the Second Baptist Church in Atlantic City this weekend demonstrates continued enthusiastic public support for the buyback campaign.

“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.