In an effort to get guns off the street, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) hosted their annual “gun buyback event” last Saturday. Between 8a.m. to 1p.m., residents were able to drop off firearms, no questions asked. In exchange for the gun, a gift card was rendered.
“This is one of the tools that we use to combat gun violence,” Det. Ben Meda of the LAPD told KCAL 9.
A $100 Target gift card was given for handguns, shotguns and rifles. A $200 Target gift card was given to those who turned over “assault rifles,” as defined by the State of California.
“The citywide Gun Buyback Program is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD),” a media release states.
There was no limit on the number of firearms a person could bring; however, there was a limit on the number of gift cards one could obtain. Every year, there’s always one or two firearms the department has yet to see, said LAPD Sgt. Jack Richter.
“Every year, somebody opens up their trunk and our people say, ‘Haven’t seen one of those before,'” Richter told CBS 2.
What’s even more surprising? Some legal gun owners were turning over their firearms, when they decided they no longer had a need for them. Steve Fish said he and his wife decided to turn over two rifles, because their grandchildren are at their house quite frequently.
“The thought that our rifles end up being used in a crime or hurting someone? That’s not a good thing,” Fish told CBS 2.
According to the department, all firearms turned over during the event were destroyed within 48 hours. As of now, it is unknown how many guns were turned over during the event.
Watch CBS 2‘s coverage of the event.