BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport officials say they collected 656 guns during their gun buyback program that began back in December.

Mayor Bill Finch says police have given out more than $70,000 worth of gift cards in return for everything from small caliber hand guns to assault rifles.

Police say it's important to get guns off the street. "I think every gun that comes off the street makes Bridgeport a safer place. It's always that one gun that could be used against a police officer or an innocent person," says Bridgeport Assistant Police Chief James Nardozzi.

Officials say the next buyback program will be held on Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.