A record number of firearms have been collected in Camden, N.J., through a state-sponsored cash-for-guns program, with many people saying they were selling their guns because of the killings that took place last Friday in Connecticut.
The firearms program collected 1,137 weapons over two days, a record number for the state, according to New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer
, Chiesa said at a news conference that gun sellers alluded to the Newtown, Conn., shootings that left 20 children dead as they surrendered their own firearms.
"There were a number of gun owners on Saturday who had publicly said, in light of the situation that had just occurred in Connecticut, they wanted to turn in their weapons," Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for Chiesa, told the Inquirer.
Loriquet said the anecdotal accounts were relayed by law enforcement officers who spoke to gun owners at Camden's Antioch Baptist Church, which hosted the program along with the Higher Ground Temple Church of God in Christ.
The money used for the buyback program came from a fund of $110,000 seized by police in from criminal activities. The city also contributed $6,000 in grocery gift card contributions.
Under the terms of the buyback program, residents of the Camden area were allowed to sell up to three weapons, no questions asked. Camden Police Chief Scott Thomas said most of the guns, which included 533 handguns, 504 shotguns and rifles, and five semi-automatic guns, were operable.
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