CONEY ISLAND - A gun buyback program was held today in Coney Island, in an effort to get illegal guns off the streets.

The program was hosted by the NYPD and the District Attorney's Office at a church on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island. Handguns and assault rifles were exchanged for $200 bank cards, and rifles and shotguns were exchanged for $20 bank cards.

Officials say more than 3,000 guns have been collected since the program launched in 2008,

District Attorney Charles Hynes says the buybacks are crucial to curbing gun violence. He says that last year, for the first time since 1960, there were fewer than 150 murders in Brooklyn.
"We pick the gun buyback programs targeting areas that have had problems with gun violence, and Coney Island has had its share, but it's significantly less than it used to be," says Hynes.

Another gun buyback event will be held next month in East Flatbush.