With an increase in gun violence and homicides during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday urged gun owners to take part in the city’s anonymous gun buyback program to help get firearms off the city’s streets.

The annual program will take from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and gun owners can bring their unwanted firearms to the Van Nuys Masonic Building Association, at 14750 Sherman Way, or the Volunteers of America Los Angeles, at 5200 S. Central Ave., in South Los Angeles, Garcetti said.

Los Angeles Police Department personnel will assign a value to the firearm depending on the weapon’s condition. The owners will receive up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles and up to $200 for assault weapons.

The program is completely anonymous and gun owners will not be asked any questions about their firearms.

“There’s more guns and more ammunition that’s been purchased in 2020 than in a long time, but you can create a safer city by joining me at our annual anonymous gun buyback,” Garcetti said during his COVID-19 briefing Monday afternoon.

Participants should transport their firearms unloaded and in the trunk of their vehicle.

People can get more information about the program at lagryd.org.

The effectiveness of gun buyback programs in reducing crime has been questioned by some critics.

A 2004 report by the National Academy of Sciences titled “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review” found that “the theory underlying gun buyback programs is badly flawed, and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs.”

The report found that guns that are typically surrendered in buyback programs are those that are least likely to be used in criminal activities, such as guns that are old or malfunctioning.

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