Guns from buyback
Guns ready to be melted down after a previous buyback. Courtesy LASD

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is encouraging Angelenos to participate in two gun buyback events Saturday sponsored by his Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development.

The gun buyback allows residents to surrender weapons anonymously, with no questions asked, in exchange for gift cards, which are valued at $100 for handguns, shotguns, and rifles and $200 for assault weapons as classified in the state of California.

The gift cards will be given out only while supplies last, and all firearms brought to a buyback location must be unloaded and stored in a locked container or a vehicle trunk, Garcetti’s office said.

“Fewer guns means fewer chances for crimes and tragic accidents that devastate our families and communities,” Garcetti said. “We’re going to keep bringing down gun violence in Los Angeles, and a big part of that is working with responsible owners to get dangerous, unwanted firearms off the street and out of homes — so they can never fall into the hands of criminals or children.”

Garcetti set a goal last year to get at least 20,000 guns off the streets of L.A. in five years, and his office said the city is ahead of the pace to meet that goal, as it collecting 7,300 last year alone, which the most since 2013.

At two gunback events last year, the city collected 788 weapons, including an array of assault rifles, shotguns, handguns and even a couple of rocket launchers.

Although some studies have concluded that gun buyback programs are ineffective at reducing crime, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck credited the program last year as one of the key reasons that gun violence has dropped in the city since the program began in 2006.

“I know there are a number of studies that show just gun buybacks don’t affect the number of victims shot, but we don’t do just gun buybacks. This is part of the greater strategy,” Beck said. “It’s also not just a crime issue. Most gun violence is suicide.”

The gun buyback events will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Frank Hotchkin Training Center at 1700 Stadium Way near Dodger Stadium, and at the Facey Medical Group at 11165 Sepulveda Blvd in Mission Hills.

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