LOS ANGELES (CNS) - More than 2,000 firearms were collected during a city gun buyback event, bringing to almost 10,000 the number of firearms collected since 2009, city officials announced today.
A total of 901 handguns, 698 rifles, 363 shotguns and 75 assault weapons were collected at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple.
In exchange for surrendering weapons, participants received Ralphs pre-paid gift cards: up to $200 for assault weapons as specified by the state and up to $100 for handguns, rifles and shotguns.
"For too long, dangerous weapons have contributed to countless unnecessary tragedies and deaths," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "The citywide gun buyback effort takes dangerous weapons off our streets and rewards Angelenos who voluntarily surrender their firearms, making our communities safer for us all."
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said he was encouraged by the turnout.
"We are grateful for the continued support of this program," Beck said. "The fact that we continue to get participation from people all over Los Angeles is encouraging. Although the scope of (the buyback) cannot be measured, the guns displayed here will never be used to harm innocent people. It is also a solemn remembrance of those victims' lives lost this year due to gun violence."
The effort was an initiative of the Mayor's Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) Office.