The crime-ravaged city of Camden, New Jersey held its first gun buyback program in nearly 20 years on Wednesday, netting 57 weapons.
The Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports that the 35 handguns and 22 rifles and shotguns were exchanged for $100 gift cards to local supermarket chain Pathmark.
“Any gun that we can get off the street is (one fewer) gun that could fall into the wrong hands and be used in a crime,” said Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk.
Gun violence is on the rise in Camden. Aggravated assaults with a gun are up 45% this year as opposed to 2010. Overall shootings are up 30%.
In addition, 38 of the 49 people murdered in Camden were shot to death. Police also shot and killed three people.
Many people criticize such gun buyback programs, saying they are only collecting old guns and not getting weapons out of the hands of criminals. However Camden officials disagree.
"The next thing you know you have a weapon that was sitting at home on the street,” said Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson.
Here is Camden Mayor Dana Reed at a news conference: