LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The city of Los Angeles is holding its annual gun buyback event at two locations on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
The event was moved up several months in response to the elementary school shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children, in Newtown, Connecticut.
LAPD officials will be on hand to take back firearms at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The guns can be handed over completely anonymously, with no questions asked.
The city is offering up to $100 Ralph’s gift cards for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 gift cards for assault weapons.
The buyback locations are set up in a drive-thru configuration. People are asked to bring their unloaded weapons secured in the trunk of their vehicles.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa created the gun buyback program in 2009 as another strategy to remove guns from the streets and reduce violence.
It is a joint effort of the LAPD and the Mayor’s Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD) program.
So far, the buyback initiative is credited with getting close to 8,000 firearms off the streets.
In the years since its inception, there has been a 39 percent drop in gang crimes and a 33 percent drop in shots fired calls, according to the mayor’s office.
Last May, police collected 1,673 firearms — a four-year low — including 53 assault weapons, 791 handguns, 302 shotguns and one anti-tank rocket launcher.