Rocket launcher among 2,600 weapons collected in Trenton

A shoulder-held rocket launcher and a 12-gauge shotgun with a “street sweeper” cartridge that can hold 12 rounds were among the 2,600 weapons turned in during a state-sponsored gun buyback event at two churches in Trenton.

Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says 700 of the gun were illegal to own because they were modified or have unlawfully high ammunition capacities.

Among the weapons that people turned in for cash were are an antique Uzi and two Thompson submachine guns.

The rocket launcher left law enforcement officials flaggergasted.

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“When someone texted me the picture on Saturday, I thought it was a joke,” Chiesa said. “It’s a no-questions-asked program and, believe me, I would have had quite a few questions for that person had we had a chance to ask them questions.

“But we have a rocket launcher that’s no longer in somebody’s house,” he said.

The weapons will be checked to determine if they’re lost or stolen, but no ballistics tests will be performed to see if they were used in crimes.

Chiesa says the program helps residents feel safer, and more buybacks will be held in other New Jersey communities.

“This is something that I will continue to do throughout the state,” he said. “This is a great way to use the forfeiture money to make people feel and make people know that we’re taking this issue seriously.”

A similar effort in Camden in December yielded more than 1,100 firearms.

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