Los Angeles will hold its fourth annual gun buyback event Saturday, offering gun owners $100 and $200 gift cards in exchange for their handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons.
The gun exchanges, aimed at reducing gun violence, will take place at six locations across the city.
Since its inception in 2009, the city's buyback program has netted approximately 6,269 weapons.
The program, run jointly by the LAPD and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office, allows owners to turn in their guns anonymously. Assault weapons are worth a $200 Ralphs or VISA card. Other guns are worth $100.
"Tomorrow is the day before Mothers' Day, and we chose this day for the Gun Buyback Program because too many mothers lose their children due to gun violence," Villaraigosa wrote on his Facebook page. "This is our opportunity to make a real difference for our children, our families, and our future."
LAPD Gun Unit officers will be at the six sites to classify surrendered firearms — anonymously.
L.A. Deputy Mayor Guillermo Cespedes says the only aim is get illegal guns off the street.
“We are not interested in anything other than people who voluntarily want to surrender illegal guns," says Cespedes. "We’re not concerned with legally owned guns. We’re not concerned with legally owned guns. We’re concerned with the number of illegal guns that are floating around neighborhoods that create crimes.”
Last year, the Gun Buyback Program took in 953 handguns, 688 rifles, 330 shotguns and 91 assault weapons. One anti-tank rocket launcher was turned in.
The haul was down from the program's peak in 2010, when more than 2,500 guns were turned in. Villaraigosa attributed the decline to the program's success in previous years.
The six exchange locations include:
- LAFD's Frank Hotchkins Training Academy, 1700 Stadium Way
- Park & Ride Parking Lot, 1300 West Pacific Coast Highway
- Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7900 South Western Avenue
- Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church, 10435 South Central Avenue
- Korean Evangelical Zion Church, 2149 West Washington Blvd
- Facey Medical Center Parking Lot, 11165 Sepulveda Boulevard
View Gun Buy-Back Locations in Los Angeles in a larger map