More than 170 guns were purchased by Nassau County police Saturday at the county's latest gun-buyback event, bringing the number of illegal guns purchased by authorities since December 2008 to 1,273, officials said.
The three-hour program, held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Rockville Centre, brought in 173 guns, police said. Anonymous donors were paid $200 for each unlicensed, operable gun.
Overall, the program has been "very successful," Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan said Saturday, noting that guns that are turned in cannot be used in crimes, domestic violence incidents, households or schools.
The anonymity guaranteed to participants is important to the program's success, he said.
"It is totally voluntary. All races and ages come to drop off these handguns," Flanagan said.
The number of illegal but operable guns turned in at past Nassau buyback events was 424 in December 2008, 315 in May, and 243 and 119 on two separate dates in September.
Only unlicensed guns are accepted. Licensed guns, BB guns, air pistols, long guns and replicas are not accepted.
Flanagan said there will be more gun-buyback events, but no dates are set.