Los Angeles runs an annual gun buyback program in order to get some guns off the street. This year, more than 2,000 guns, including hand guns, shotguns, rifles and assault weapons were handed in in exchange for grocery gift cards. Oh, there were also two rocket launchers turned in at the buyback program.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that the 2012 collection was the largest in the history of the gun buyback program. The Chicago Tribune reports that officials collected about 400 more guns than they did last year.
“As you can see to my right and left, these weren’t just guns that weren’t functioning anymore. These were serious guns — semiautomatic weapons, guns that have no place on the streets of Los Angeles or any other city.”
Police Chief Charlie Beck added:
“Those are weapons of war, weapons of death. These are not hunting guns. These are not target guns. These are made to put high-velocity, extremely deadly, long-range rounds down-range as quickly as possible, and they have no place in our great city.”
The LA Times reports that 901 handguns, 698 rifles and 363 shotguns were turned in to the LAPD. Officials also collected two rocket launchers at the buyback and several other military grade weapons. The guns will be melted down.
Los Angeles typically holds its gun buyback program on Mother’s Day. The city decided to move the program up due to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and increased calls to ban assault weapons.