L.A. Gun Buyback Event Collects Nearly 1,000 Guns

06/02/2014 2:09 pm0 commentsViews: 36
LA's Gun Buyback Mayor Eric Garcetti holds a riffle at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.  Photos by Gary McCarthy

Mayor Eric Garcetti holds a riffle at the Los Angeles Sports Arena Gun Buy Back.
Photos by Gary McCarthy

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -  Almost 1,000 guns, including 31 assault weapons,
were surrendered at Saturday’s gun buyback event that allowed people to turn in
weapons in exchange for gift cards, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief
Gun Buy Back  LA Sports arena 16071 Gun buy back - LAPD HQ 16131 Gun buy back - LAPD HQ 16139announced today.
The city also collected 476 handguns, 273 rifles and 170 shotguns for a
total of about 950 firearms turned at four locations around the city.
“The shooting in Isla Vista was a tragic reminder of the consequences
of gun violence in our state and our country and redoubles our efforts to do
everything we can as quickly as possible, to keep our communities safe and get
deadly weapons off our streets,” Garcetti said, referring to a rampage near UC
Santa Barbara in which 22-year-old Elliot Rodger fatally stabbed his three
roommates and gunned down three other students.
Garcetti said 27 percent of the weapons were brought in for someone else
and 89 percent of people who surrendered weapons said they felt safer after
having gotten rid of the gun.
The weapons might have been family heirlooms “passed down from
generation to generation” or “used in acts of horrible violence in our
communities, but one thing is certain — the chapter ends here for these
weapons,” Garcetti said.
“Each gun that gets off the streets represents one less opportunity for
tragedy, one less weapon that could be used, that could lead to a loss of
life,” he said.
The buyback program, which offers up to $200 in grocery cards in
exchange for guns, is organized by the mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth
Development office.
The city’s latest buyback — the eighth since 2009 — brings the total
number of guns turned into the city with no questioned asked to 12,918,
according to city officials.
Beck said “many of the weapons,” including some assault weapons,
turned in this past weekend are “illegal on their face” and “don’t belong in
a civilized society.”
“Unwanted firearms don’t belong in anybody’s home,” he said. “This is
not about the right to own guns. This is about the need to get rid of the
guns that serve no useful purpose.”
The guns will be sent to a facility in Riverside to be melted down for a
second life as rebar in houses and bridges, Beck said.
He said the city does not check for identification or confirm ownership
of the guns.
“The value of getting (the guns) out of the house and off the streets
far outweighs the possibility of their use in prosecution, because we would
never have come into contact with them anyway,” he said.
Beck credited the buyback program, along with “smart” police work, for
a reduction in gun violence in recent years, saying just under 1,000 people
were shot in 2013, compared with more than 1,600 in 2008.
“It wasn’t so long ago this was the gun violence capital of the United
States. It wasn’t so long ago this was the per capita murder capital of this
nation,” he said. “That is no longer true.”

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