Deeply affected by the massacre at Sandy  Hook, gun owners in Camden, New Jersey, America’s deadliest town, turned in a  record number of weapons in a buy back scheme over the weekend.

1,137 firearms including an elephant-gun were  handed in on Friday and Saturday at two churches in the crime-plagued town as  the ramifications of the mass child killings in Connecticut seemed to inspire  residents to give up their arms.

‘We heard that 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 the Camden police, said in an interview with Philly.Com

Record gun collection: Impacted by the carnage in Sandy Hook, residents of Camden, New Jersey, turned in a huge amount of weapons in a gun buyback program over the weekend

Among the weapons handed in were scores of  rifles, shotguns and pistols, sawed-off shotguns, a century-old antique weapon,  a rifle used for hunting elephants and five fully automatic  weapons.

Some 90 per cent were in working condition.

Many were illegal weapons under state laws;  some were so-called community guns stashed around the neighborhood.

All those who turned in guns were promised  anonymity and no questions asked.

Loaded: Among the weapons collected were scores of rifles, shotguns and pistols, sawed-off shotguns, a century-old antique weapon, a rifle used for hunting elephants and five fully automatic weapons

‘A lot of people said they don’t want  the  guns around the house now,’ said state Attorney General Jeffrey  Chiesa as he  announced the result of the program held Friday and  Saturday at two Camden  churches.  reported that those who came to the  event were paid up to $250 per weapon with ‘no questions asked.’

Gun owners received $25 for BB guns, $50  inoperable firearms, $150 for revolvers, semi automatics, shotguns and rifles  and $250 for assault weapons.

Nearly all of the weapons are to be  destroyed.

Taking a closer look: Camden police officers examine and take photos of guns displayed on tables at police headquarters

‘The more we unarm ourselves then maybe we  can stop some of the violence that’s going on. If we don’t have the firearm then  we can’t use the  firearm,’ said James Green, who turned over his firearm.

The shooting at a Newtown elementary school  on Friday left 26 people dead, including 20 children, ages 6 and 7.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, used a Bushmaster  AR-15 assault rifle in the killings, and used a handgun to kill himself as  police officers closed in.

Twice as many firearms were turned in  Saturday, the day after, than on Friday, Chiesa noted.

‘These guns are coming from people’s homes  and many times end up as  items of burglary, end up on our streets and in the  wrong hands. We  would much rather have custody of these guns now as opposed to  at the  scene of a crime after a shooting,’ said Chief Scott Thomas, Camden  Police.

Cash for guns: Those who came to the event were paid up to $250 per weapon with ‘no questions asked’

It wasn’t just criminals who handed back their rifles  and firearms to the police on Friday and Saturday – law abiding citizens did  too

The authorities at the two churches in Camden, New  Jersey who accepted the guns anonymously were impressed with their haul

It wasn’t just the criminals handing in guns  in Camden – law abiding members of the public were bringing in their guns to rid  their homes of their firearms.

‘I don’t want them around the house anymore  so I brought them here,’ said Henry Budniak.

Officials have said there are about 170 drug  markets operating in Camden, a city of 77,000 near Philadelphia, more than 700  people on parole and 600 registered sex offenders.

The city ranks first in violent crime,  according to the FBI. It also leads the country in murders for cities of more  than 50,000 people.

The murder rate is unthinkably high. In 2007,  Newark attracted national attention for a record number of homicides.

Some residents, interviewed Friday, said they  turned in guns simply because they no longer wanted them in their homes. One man  said he would use the $400 he received to buy Christmas gifts.

Source: The Daily Mail


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