FREEHOLD — Through two gun buyback events over the past month, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and partner agencies collected nearly 600 firearms that will never be used again.

More than $66,000 was paid out to citizens who handed in their unwanted weapons.

Monmouth County was one of nine counties in New Jersey to host a gun buyback event on Oct. 23. The county's event in Asbury Park took in a total of 360 firearms, including 159 handguns, 133 rifles and shotguns, and three assault weapons.

Due to demand, a second event was held on Nov. 20 in Freehold. Officials took in another 234 firearms, including 144 handguns, 67 rifles and shotguns, and two assault weapons.

“It’s abundantly clear that these gun buyback events are both popular and effective, and we plan to continue hosting them in the years to come,” Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey said. “Every last firearm turned in is a firearm that will never be used to harm someone.”

Events held on Oct. 23 recorded nearly 3,000 firearms across the state.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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