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Suffolk law enforcement offering gun buyback program

Hand over an illegal gun, get a $50 Visa gift card.

As part of the state-funded "Gun Buyback Program," the Suffolk Sheriff's Office and other East End law enforcement agencies this week will be offering cash for guns - all in a continuing effort to get illegal handguns off the street.

"It's important to remove these weapons from the street, ensuring that they don't fall in the wrong hands, putting the public in jeopardy," Suffolk Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco said in a statement.

An illegal gun is a handgun in the possession of an unlicensed individual, police said.

Legal handguns, rifles, shotguns, BB and pellet guns will also be accepted for confiscation and destruction, but their owners will not be compensated.

Those who hand in illegal pistols - no questions asked - receive the Visa gift card.

Nassau County police have taken in at least 1,101 guns in their buyback programs since 2008, while Suffolk County police have gotten at least 100.

The local agencies where the program will take place are:

Suffolk Sheriff's Pistol License Bureau, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; East Hampton Police Department, Monday, 5-7 p.m.; Southampton Town Police Department, Tuesday, 5-7 p.m.; Shelter Island Police Department, Wednesday, 5-7 p.m.; and Riverhead Police Department, Friday, 5-7 p.m.

For more information, call the Pistol License Bureau, 631-852-2233.

With Sophia Chang

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