Illegal Gun Buyback Initiative
Matthew spearheaded a fundraising and public safety outreach program aimed at taking guns off the streets of New Jersey’s third-most populous county. It was no small task, but an endeavor that he took great pride in pursuing through a public-private partnership.
The president of the Essex County Bar Association appointed Matthew in 2018 to lead the “no questions asked” gun buyback program in concert with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and other law enforcement agencies. The March 30, 2019 collection paid out $41,000 in private funds to take more than 330 guns off the streets of Newark and surrounding communities.
“The proliferation of guns is an ongoing problem in Essex County and beyond. This is a unique collaboration between law enforcement and a private, nonprofit organization to reverse that trend,’’ said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II in a statement.
Matthew looks forward to helping orchestrate additional privately funded gun buybacks in the future.
“Taking unwanted, illegal, and unsafe guns off the street through programs like this contributes to public health and safety,” Matthew said. “With full amnesty and no questions asked thanks to the leadership of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, members of the community are incentivized to come forward and do the right thing.”