If you've got any assault weapons floating around the house, it's your lucky day. The is offering big bucks for handguns and assault rifles next weekend.
In the first gun surrender program in nine years, Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced that the county will pay $80 per handgun and $150 for assault weapons, no questions asked.
The program runs Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, behind Sacred Heart School, at 115 Commercial Avenue in New Brunswick. Hours for the bounty are 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday.
No ID is required to turn the guns in and get the loot, and Kaplan said in a statement that no one will be arrested for surrendering a gun.
The only requirement is that the guns be operable to earn the cash. The county will also take guns that no longer work so they can be disposed of, but the owners won't get any money for them.
Gun owners, though, shouldn't show up with the weapon in their hip pocket. In order to surrender a gun, it must be unloaded, wrapped, tied, or taped, and placed in a box, bag, or case.
"The goal of this program is to reduce the number of guns in Middlesex County,’’ Kaplan said in a statement. "When you turn in guns, you make our neighborhoods safer, and may save a life."
‘’We want to reduce the number of guns that might be used by criminals or cause injury, death or suffering,’’ the prosecutor said.
The program has been sponsored by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in past years, and has been successful in retrieving guns. In 2003, the last time, the program was run, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office paid $84,500 for assault weapons that were turned in. About 100 guns of other types were also surrendered, but no cash rewards were offered then for non-assault weapons.
Those who are uncertain if a weapon in their possession qualifies as an assault weapon are urged to go to the New Jersey State Police website at NJSP.org, click on Public Information, New Jersey Firearms Laws, NJ Attorney General Guidelines, Assault Firearms for more information.
Funding for the program is provided from assets obtained by criminals through illegal activities and forfeited by court order following convictions for drugs sales and other crimes, the prosecutor's office said.
Residents also are invited to stop at the church hall to pick up triggerlocks, which will be given for free on both days.