The New Jersey Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing Monday on legislation that would require the state Attorney General’s Office to operate a statewide gun buyback program.
Ten occasional buyback events were held over the past five years in various parts of the state allowing citizens to turn in firearms for cash payments.
Senator Linda Greenstein says her bill would requiring nine gun buyback events every year.
“This is an attempt to have to have a statewide program where on a regular basis, North, South and Central, we would have buybacks, three in each location. There would be some in urban areas and other types of locations and it would be an attempt to be frequent in the buyback that we’re having.”
Greenstein says the goal is to reduce gun violence.
“If guns are hanging around the street, they’re going to fall into the wrong hands for sure, and we want to get as many of them off the street as we can. We’re a congested state and having guns out there and accessible to non-law-abiding citizens is extremely dangerous.”
The average gun buyback event cost $232,000 with most of the money coming from criminal forfeiture funds. The legislation calls for up to $2 million a year in tax credits to encourage private donations for the program.