Seventeen assault weapons and 250 other firearms, including 15 ghost guns, were surrendered to the Los Angeles Police Department during a gun buyback program last month, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.
The annual buyback program was held at five locations across the city on March 26, Moore said. People were given gift cards of up to $100 for surrendering handguns, shotguns, ghost guns and rifles, and gift cards of up to $200 for surrendering assault weapons.
“I believe it’s a safer Los Angeles with those 267 fewer firearms. I recognize that the number of firearms in our communities is substantial, but every firearm off the street is one less firearm that can be used against another individual,” Moore said.
The buyback program was held in the Exposition Park, Florence-Firestone, Van Nuys, Wilmington and Westchester neighborhoods. Fliers advertising the program reminded Angelenos that the possession of ghost guns is illegal under a new ordinance that went into effect last year after passing the City Council unanimously. The ordinance also prohibits the purchase, sale, receipt or transport of ghost guns.
Ghost guns are virtually untraceable firearms, without serial numbers, that can be assembled by unlicensed buyers from legally purchased kits. The unfinished parts are inexpensive and not required under federal law to have serial numbers or a background check to purchase.
Violation of the city ordinance is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.
This year’s buyback program was the city’s 17th, and over the years the department has received 17,634 firearms, including 716 assault weapons, Moore said.