Buy-Back Program Nets Hundreds Of Guns In Queens; NYPD: Most Successful Haul To Date In City
How many of the weapons collected during Saturday's Pix11's co-sponsored Gun Buy Back were used in a crime – or worse, fired a bullet that took someone's life?

We may never know, but the important thing is these guns are now out of circulation, and off the streets -- turned in Saturday afternoon at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Queens.

Donna Hood was pleased; her son, Kevin,was struck and killed by a stray bullet in 2009, not far from the church. She was there watching a steady stream of people turn in illegal weapons in exchange for a $200-dollar gift card -- no questions asked.

"I'm thinking about Kevin the whole time. I'm thinking if they had something like this – at this volume before, maybe my son would still be here", Hood told PIX11.

Authorities confirm Saturday's Gun Buy Back -- organized by the NYPD, the New York City Police Foundation, State Sen. Malcolm Smith, PIX11, and other corporate sponsors -- is the most successful in the city to date, in terms of the number of weapons turned in on a single day -- at a single location.

There were so many weapons coming in, semi-automatic pistols, shotguns, even a pair of tech-9 machine pistols, that the department had to call in off-duty officers to help catalog the new inventory.

Smith told PIX11: "...and I know most people thought, well, maybe the bad guys don't turn them in. But, we saw a lot of mothers, aunts, and cousins bringing in bags of guns. Three and four 9-millimeters. The bad guys gave up their guns today."

He says he believes the community got the message – thanks to PIX11's promotion of the Gun Buy Back.

"No question, and again, my hat goes off to PIX. I am telling you, you guys have done a terrific job, and you cannot understate that. This kind of marketing that you guys put forward is unprecedented in the City Of New York."

PIX11 Contributor Wally Zeins says the most unassuming residents turned up at New Jerusalem – ready to turn in an illegal gun – presumably for the person, who actually owned the weapon.

"There was a woman, who came in with a walker, and a shopping cart, loaded with guns. There was just everyday people. And you know what they said? It doesn't discriminate anymore. When a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old, a 5-year-old gets shot, we gotta say something. Being a snitch now, is now a hero….and turning in a gun – is saving a life."

Edited By Michelle Robinson