By Vincent Trivett
HARLEM — A holiday push for safer streets took 350 illegal guns out of circulation, and gave their owners some extra spending money.
The NYPD's cash-for-guns program handed out $200 for each pistol, and promised to ask no questions about why the bearers had them.
Among the recovered weapons were an AK-47 style assault rifle and three Tec-9 semi-automatic guns.
Altogether, police took possesion of 185 revolvers, 122 semi-automatics, eight shotguns, eight rifles and 31 other firearms that were owned illegally.
The NYPD teamed up with Rev. Al Sharpton to encourage weapon owners to turn them in at two Harlem churches on Saturday.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told 400 community members gathered at Sharpton's National Action Network headquarters for the event that 98 percent of shooting victims were black or Hispanic.
"This society should not accept it, this community should not accept it, this police department should not accept it," he said.
"We see it as our way of turning swords into ploughshares."
In two years, the buyback program has recovered more than 6,500 illegal guns. The weapons will be melted down and turned into coat hangers, Kelly said.