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قديم 06-10-2014, 07:18 PM
uxeohpahpa uxeohpahpa غير متواجد حالياً
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تاريخ التسجيل: Oct 2014
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uxeohpahpa is on a distinguished road
افتراضي Det. Jim Mulligan

By nightfall, the large white cardboard box behind the three police officers held nearly 50 weapons, not the least of them three deadly looking sawed-off shotguns. The cops were paying $50 for each gun from the streets. No questions asked. Across Camden County, more than 200 citizens turned in their guns on the first day of a two-week amnesty crusade called Operation Gun Sweep. The weapons collected at 10 police buildings, fire stations and community centers will be destroyed by melting them down in a forge. They came from people like the harried woman with a preschooler in one hand and a paper bag in the other. She rolled a 9mm pistol onto the table in front of the officers. And the Bucks County man giving up the revolver he bought 15 years ago because he now has two children. And the divorced woman who brought in the Chinese pistol that had belonged to her ex-husband - whom, she said in passing, was a criminal. The police were impressed. "That's outstanding, considering the weather," said Lt. Joseph Richardson of the Camden Police Department. "We didn't know what to expect." Det. Jim Mulligan, who supervises the firing range in the basement of the Camden police headquarters, said this was the first gun turn-in program attempted during his 19 years with the department. "When I was on the streets," he recalled, "every time we checked someone out, they had a weapon." Mulligan admitted that it made him nervous to watch citizens marching into the police building carrying such an array of firepower, but he said it was for a good cause. "It makes my heart beat a little fast," he said. "It makes you think." The citizens of this South Jersey city, called one of the poorest in America, were giving up their guns on a day honoring the birth of a man martyred to the ideal of nonviolence. Agencies and civic organizations from across Camden County, where 36 of 60 homicides last year were committed with guns, created the project in concert with a growing national determination to stem violence committed with firearms. A similar program began yesterday in Hudson County in North Jersey, and gun-collecting projects offering such rewards as toy certificates have grown in popularity and success across the country in recent months. Government offices were closed for the observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Still, the city drop-off points and at least two others in the suburbs, in Cherry Hill and Gloucester Township, reported a brisk trade in weapons for shiny new $50 bills despite the holiday and the weather. "We had about a dozen transactions," said Cherry Hill Police Officer Steven R. Schomp. When the program started at 1 p.m. yesterday, Schomp said, a gun dealer showed up at the Cherry Hill station with more than 100 handguns he wanted to surrender for $50 each. Camden County Prosecutor Edward F. Borden Jr. "decided that was not the purpose of the project," Schomp said. The gun dealer was sent away, still in possession of his 100 pistols. The turn-in program will be conducted from now through Jan. 28, daily from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Richardson said 11 citizens were waiting in the lobby at 11:15 a.m. yesterday to turn in weapons for the program that was not scheduled to begin for another two hours. Police detectives processed the transactions early so the people would not have to wait any longer than necessary in the bad weather. Another 30 weapons were turned in this past weekend on the eve of the drive, officials said. Borden, whose office is coordinating the project and supplying the reward money from its drug seizures fund, said that about 260 weapons had been taken in by about 6 p.m. yesterday. "It's a great start, considering the weather," he said. It was a day of no names and no recriminations at the Camden County locations. People simply showed up, handed over the weapons, signed a form with any name that struck their fancy, and received their $50 per gun. The anonymity appealed to many, including the 29-year-old Washington Township woman who brought in a Chinese pistol of World War II vintage. "It belonged to my ex-husband," she said. "I've had it for a year. I don't know where he got it. I don't want to know. He had a little criminal background." Not giving a name also was fine with the big, unsmiling man in the hooded sweatshirt. He turned in a camp rifle, which telescopes down to fit in a backpack. The weapon is .22 caliber. "It was too light for me," the man said. Did he use the gun for target shooting? "Yeah," he said, as he hurried into the ready-to-descend elevator. ''Yeah." More typical, however, were the responses of those turning in the guns to lessen the possibility of trouble in their homes. "I don't think they're too safe," said the man from Winslow Township who turned in a rifle and a BB-gun. "I have a 7-year-old. You know how little ones get into everything." The Langhorne man who works in Audubon was giving up the .22 pistol he'd bought 15 years ago when he was 18. "I have two kids now, and I just don't want it in the house," he said. The man who brought in his .410-shotgun also had a good reason for trading it for the $50 bill that Officer Prince Burnett handed him. What he now needed more than a firearm, the man said, was a new tire for his car.
 

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