An elderly Lowell woman was accosted by a man who shoveled her driveway and demanded payment.  Credit: Charles Mostoller A collection of handguns Credit: Charles Mostoller/Metro file photo

 

In just over a month, nearly 300 guns have been turned over to police as part of the city's buyback program.

 

Boston police on Wednesday released an updated count of relinquished guns. The total, including four guns turned in Tuesday, comes to 285.

 

 

"To those who've taken advantage of the opportunity to make our community a safer place, we say 'thank you,'" Boston police said.

The gun buyback program kicked off on March 24. Those who turn in guns at various designated sites throughout the city receive a $200 Visa gift card in return.

The apparently accidental shooting of a 9-year-old Mattapan boy by his teenage brother earlier this year helped give the program momentum.

Shootings in Boston are down so far this year. As of April 27 there had been 52 total shootings in the city, compared with 63 at the same time last year. Firearm arrests are about even with 130 being made so far this year, compared to 132 at the same time last year, according to police data.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.