Gun buybacks are a safe and effective tool for removing unwanted firearms from homes and communities.
It’s why the Community Foundation of New Jersey has worked with several families across our state to bring gun buyback programs to their hometowns. We facilitate the partnership with local law enforcement, work with the family to set a budget and facilitate funding, and help to spread the word of the buyback to generate interest and then celebrate success.
Most of the families we have partnered with on buybacks have been fundholders, a relationship that offers myriad other benefits (Click here to learn about opening your own fund).
A growing trend nationally, gun buyback programs take unwanted firearms out of the community, thus reducing their potential for cycling through illegal networks or ending up as potential hazards in homes.
The process is quite simple.
A state, county, or local law enforcement office (sometimes a combination of the three) hosts a one- or multi-day buyback at a secure location. The event is advertised in advance with an emphasis that no questions are asked of those who hand over their unwanted firearms. The buyback organizers pay individuals for the firearms according to a basic price menu and the guns are checked against an FBI database (stolen guns are returned to rightful owners) and ultimately destroyed.
As an added benefit, the scrap metal is often used elsewhere, whether for construction or even, in a few cases, to create jewelry.
The important thing is, the unwanted guns are safely and securely removed from the community.
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What it Costs
Among gun buybacks sponsored by CFNJ fundholders, the costs are fairly reasonable.
Working with County Prosecutor offices, prices are typically set at $25 for shotguns and rifles, $100 for handguns, and $200 for assault weapons.
In 2015, one CFNJ-sponsored buyback netted more than 400 guns for a total cost of $30,000.
Thanks to the nine gun buybacks CFNJ fundholders have sponsored throughout the state (see chart below), nearly 3,000 unwanted firearms have been properly disposed of, with nearly 2,500 of these firearms coming from Monmouth County alone (an area that was particularly important to one passionate fundholder).
Above the Fray of Politics
Since the firearms are already unwanted, a buyback program avoids the debate on gun rights altogether. A gun buyback provides a safe disposal opportunity, a little bit of cash, and fewer unwanted firearms that might otherwise lie around a home.
“If we remove just one gun from the streets, we remove another chance for gun violence,” says Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. “But multiply the number of guns that will come off the streets through this program and we are not just eliminating another possibility for gun violence but wiping clean some of the grief and agony gun violence inevitably brings to a great number of families and the communities where gun violence persists.”
To bring a gun buyback to your community, contact Hans Dekker at the Community Foundation of New Jersey at 973-267-5533.