Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and District Attorney Kathleen...

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and District Attorney Kathleen Rice announce the results of the gun buyback in Bethpage. The buyback program took place in Uniondale last Saturday. (Feb. 19, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

County Executive Edward Mangano and top Nassau law enforcement officials said Saturday’s gun buyback in Uniondale of 330 firearms was the county’s largest since the program began in December 2008.

District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who has worked with the county police department on the program since its beginning, said she believes December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., played a part in the buyback jump.

“I don’t think you can underestimate the influence of what happened at Sandy Hook,” she told news media gathered Monday at the Morelli Center in Bethpage, where the guns were on display. There were 195 handguns, 80 rifles, 40 shotguns -- seven of them sawed off -- and 15 assault weapons on exhibit.

The Gun Buy Back Program is strictly anonymous and individuals were paid $100 for every rifle, $200 for each handgun and $400 for each assault rifle. All had to be in working condition. Licensed guns, and BB and air guns were not accepted.

The buyback at Uniondale’s Grace Cathedral was the 13th around the county since 2008.

The buyback before that was Sept. 29 at Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, where 184 guns were bought.

“Community support is critical to the success of this program, and we appreciate the members of the clergy who have participated,” Mangano said.

Forfeiture funds from Nassau’s police department and district attorney’s office are used to fund the program.