LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck yesterday announced the results of the 2010 Gun Buyback program. In it’s second year, the day long effort collected 2,511 firearms citywide. The program retrieved weapons in exchange for gift certificates at five locations citywide, in an effort aimed at reducing levels of gun violence in our neighborhoods.
“I would like to thank all the Angelenos who joined us over the weekend to take us one step closer to securing a safer City for every family,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.
“By helping us get 2500 dangerous weapons off the streets, this year’s successful turn-out shows that the gifts-for-guns method has been tested and it works.”
An initiative of the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office, the 2010 Gun Buyback rewarded the voluntary surrender of firearms, while engaging the community towards a common goal of reducing gun violence. The gun buyback initiative included a grassroots outreach campaign-that worked with gang prevention and intervention agencies, community and religious leaders and the LAPD. The comprehensive outreach effort served not only to implore participation in neighborhoods suffering from high levels of gun violence, but also to educate our communities about the risks and dangers of gun and gang violence.
In addition, 100,000 full color flyers and 5000 posters were distributed throughout the City. The interior of the City fleet of DASH buses also contained information on the Gun Buyback program.
At a news conference outside the Police Administration building, the LAPD displayed over 2500 firearms that were surrendered at the daylong gun buyback event.
“The guns displayed today will never be stolen or used in a robbery, assault, or murder; the scope of that success can never be fully measured,” Chief of Police Charles Beck said. “We owe a special thanks to Ralph’s and our media sponsor KCBS 2/ KCAL 9.”
The Gun Buyback Program exchanged gift cards for weapons, awarding a total of $197,400 to participants. In its second year, the Gun Buyback Program took over 800 more firearms off the street this year compared to the previous year’s effort. In its first year in 2009, the Gun Buyback Program collected almost 1700 firearms from across the City in one day. In turn, participants were rewarded 1,302 gift cards that cumulatively amounted to $130,200.
In exchange for the firearm the individual received a gift card to Ralphs or received a VISA pre-paid card. The cost per firearm depended on its type, up to $200 for assault weapons as specified in the State of California and up to $100 for handguns, rifles and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit was on site to determine the type of classification of the firearm surrendered.
Individuals may still surrender guns to any Los Angeles Police Department Community Police Station. When bringing a firearm to a police station, the individual should leave the unloaded gun(s) in a locked container or stored in a vehicle trunk. Assistance will be provided after discussing the intent to surrender a weapon with an officer at the police station desk. Until another Gun Buyback event is scheduled, no gift cards will be exchanged. Please visit the LAPD website at www.lapdonline.org to find the nearest community police station.