Last weekend's gun buy-back program took in 330 illegal guns, including nearly 200 handguns, 15 assault rifles and 7 sawed-off shotguns, Nassau County officials announced Tuesday. There were even two Tec-9's collected, semi-automatic handguns.
Nassau's program was held at the Grace Cathedral in Uniondale where residents could bring in the weapons with no questions asked. The participants were paid on a sliding scale for their weapons, so long as they were operational:
The payment scale, which did not allow for licensed guns, long guns and replicas, was:
- $100 for a rifle
- $200 for a handgun
- $400 for an assault rifle.
County Executive Edward P. Mangano said community support is critical to the program's ongoing success, which has taken more than 2,600 guns off the streets in the past dozen times the buy-back was offered.
In an interview, Mangano said many of the weapons were brought in by relatives of the owners. "The program works so well because we work with the local clergy and people feel like they have a safe place to come," Mangano told Patch. "People also feel they are doing the right thing."
Rice added that the program's impressive yield, which was on display at a press conference Wednesday at the Nassau Office of Emergency Management may have been, in part, a response to the Sandy Hook murders in Newtown, Conn.
"You can't understate the impact of the horrible tragedy at Newtown," Rice said. "That may have influenced the number of guns we saw turned in."
In fact, at least one of the assault rifles in the collected arsenal on display Tuesday. was the same type of weapon used by Adam Lanza to slaughter 27 people Dec. 14, including 20 kindergarten students and six school employees.