Los Angeles Gun Buyback Comes Early
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Dec 25, 2012 - 4:38:48 PM
LOS ANGELES—Due to the recent shooting at the elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, the city of Los Angeles held its annual gun buyback program on Wednesday, December 26.
The buyback event was hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program. LAPD officials will be at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. where guns can be turned in anonymously with no questions asked.
Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
The city offered up to $100 Ralphs gift cards for handguns, shotguns and rifles and up to $200 in gift cards for assault weapons. The gun buyback program was created in 2009 by Villaraigosa and is credited with getting almost 8,000 firearms off the streets.
According to the mayor's office, the program has brought a 39 percent drop in gang crimes and 33 percent drop in shots fired with a total of 241 less people shot in the city.
Last May, police collected 1,673 firearms which included 53 assault weapons, 791 handguns, 302 shotguns and one anti-tank rocket launcher. Police also received a pair of pocket pistols worth an estimated $2,000 and an illegal belt-buckle pistol.
Villaraigosa announced the gun buyback will be held early to give locals the chance to take "concrete action" after the Newton shooting in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself. "Too often we wake up with another headline that reminds us we are too late," Villaraigosa said at a news conference last week.
Weapons brought to the buyback are asked to be unloaded and transported in vehicle trunks. The L.A. Sports Arena is located at 3939 Figueroa Street and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple is located at 14750 Sherman Way.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact the Mayor's Office Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program at (213) 473-7796.
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