L.A. Gun Buyback Event Yields 2 Rocket Launchers

rocket-launcherLOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Authorities collected 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons, and two anti-tank rocket launchers during L.A.’s annual gun buyback event.

“Those are weapons of war, weapons of death,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said of the rockets and assault weapons.

“These are made to put high-velocity, extremely deadly, long-range rounds downrange as quickly as possible, and they have no place in our great city,” he added.

The buyback, which was held on Wednesday in South L.A. and Van Nuys, was pushed up several months in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

People were invited to surrender firearms anonymously — with no questions asked — in exchange for Ralph’s gift cards.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the success of the program, which collected 400 more weapons than last year.

He said the response to the drive was so great that the city ran out of the gift cards and had to rely on a private donation through the city controller to bolster the pot.

Villaraigosa said the LAPD collected 901 handguns, 698 rifles and 363 shotguns. The weapons will be melted down.

“Perhaps the most honest testament to the success of yesterday’s program can be seen in the 166 weapons that were surrendered for nothing,” Villaraigosa said.

He added that nearly three-quarters of those turning in the weapons said in an informal survey that they felt safer with the weapons off the street.

City officials also used Thursday’s news conference to warn New Year’s Eve revelers against firing weapons into the air.

Authorities said that anyone who fires a gun into the air on New Year’s Eve faces jail time and a fine of up to $10,000, even if no one is hurt.

292 comments

  • Chris

    For the record, the rocket launchers are not firearms/guns and the ownership of same, are not protected by the Second Amendment. That being said, they should not have been in private hands to begin with and I am pleased that they were turned in. Chances are, and it is not reported, all of the guns turned in for food were legally purchased, guaranteed the rocket launchers were not. The police chief's comment is melodramatic as the firearms turned in being "weapons of war," the only weapons of war are teh rocker launchers. The simple black powder muzzle loader in existence at the time the Second Amendment and the other Nine Amendments of the Bill of Rights was penned was the firearm of the Continental Army and of the American citizens, and a "weapon of war" if we want to be as melodramatic as the chief. In any case, James Madison knew what he was doing when he penned the Bill of Rights, and the states knew what they were doing when they ratified the Bill of Rights that established the First Ten Amendments, which included the right to bear arms as not being infringed upon. It is note worthy that it is only preceded by free speech; it is that important.

    • JNick

      You need to read the rest of the comments about the INERT AT4 rocket tubes that were turned in, not "live rocket launchers" as the lamestream media wants you to believe are commonplace on the street in order to spread fear and push more idiots towards a gun-free "Utopia"….

    • Manolo

      Those are not rocket launchers, friend. They're expended tubes and they can't be reloaded. They have no military value or utility after expended. They're just fiberglass tubes that, if broken up or destroyed, will just cause pollution. Even the sights on them are cheap and can't be used for anything. In fact, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) sells them by the pallet load and they are not even listed on the Department of Commerce's Controlled Items/Weapons Export List. They're so useless that even the United States government doesn't care what happens to the empty tubes when they're expended!!

  • Dustin

    We should ban anti-tank rocket launchers to keep them out of civilian hands. Oh wait, they are already illegal. Maybe an example of criminals not caring about existing laws. Ban them more! That makes sense to me.

    • Manolo

      Yes, there were school shootings in the 1960s and 1970s. You're just seeing the multiplying effect of a larger society and greater, more intense media coverage. School shootings were often local affairs back then and were documented in state and local newspapers. National media didn't start covering them until the University of Texas bell tower sniper incident. Also, many schools had marksmanship programs where youth were taught proper gun safety and handling. When those were removed from schools (because they were underwritten by the U.S. military) courtesy of protests from your generation's people, the vacuum was replaced by less productive activities that had little meaning or value.

  • Waydel123

    That's were my rocket launchers went, I had them in my trunk just in case a spontaneous riot broke out in a foreign country about a video.

  • Ellina

    OMG! What a bunch of fools!

    The "rocket laucher" that they are so proud of is a one-use disposable tube that cannot be reused. They might have well paid $200 for a piece of PVC pipe.

    Notice that they did not buy any RPG launchers. Those are reusable.

    This is just more proof that even police in a town controlled by idiots act as idiots themselves. Also notice that the oh so smart media in this town of fools did not catch their mistake. Truly this is a ship of fools.

  • steve0504

    .POLITICALLY CORRECT Charlie Beck and Mayor Viva La Raza. These two clowns are sickening. They act as if they have made any difference at all. Why dont you try doing your JOB, and take guns from the gang members?? I know why… Because you are using them as tools to create crime and scare the sheeple into turning in their guns. We are buying millions of guns and have NO intention of turning in ANYTHING, when you set up your puppets to "register" , then collect our guns. I will never register ANYTHING, and will NEVER turn in anything. All the guns you collected were LEGAL, but you act as if they were "contraband"… and the people who turned them in should have sold them to a gunstore. They would have gotten 5 times what they got. Fools.

  • steve0504

    FLASH!!!!! AN AR15 was NOT used at the school shooting! Its on record! There were 4 handguns recovered. The AR was LOCKED in the shooters car. THIS IS ALL BS! Witnesses also stated there were several gunmen. WAKE UP!!!!

  • Guest_Zoner

    LA found 400 grand to pay off obama voters to turn in their stolen guns?

    When Civil War breaks out, these Taker Nation will be the first to be rounded up and executed.

  • Manolo

    Those are not usable rocket launchers. They are remnants of AT-4 anti-tank weapons that have been fired already. Those disposable fiberglass tubes are not good for anything and they are frequently disposed of through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office sales. If those were genuine, fireable AT-4s the police office would not be able to hold it in one hand. They're pretty heavy. What they are showing is completely harmless and they're frequently used as wall decorations and movie props. They're harmless.

  • bisbad1955

    What a bunch of bull. The AT-4 launcher tube is about as dangerous as a PVC piece of pipe. The AT-4 round and launcher is manufactured as one unit. Once the round (rocket) is fired, the launcher is useless and is discarded. The only way to reload the launcher is send it back to the factory. Both the Army and Marines have used these and fire practice rounds. These were probably scavenged off of a junk pile or out of a salvage yard and pawned off on the dopey LA boobs. Similar thing happened in Miami when they did this. They started bragging about getting a rocket launcher turned in and it was easily identified as simply a carrying case for a TOW missle. Completelly harmless as was the tube in La. Dang fools.

  • Manolo

    I'm throwing the BS flag on this. He's holding an AT-4 tube that came off of a range or through DRMO after it was expended in a safe military range environment. They're widely available to the public thorugh surplus and they're not reusable except maybe as a prop or a downspout or something. I used to have one hung on the wall over my desk. The person who turned it in probably got more from the cops than what they paid for it!! What a bunch of tools!

  • Bob Kutz

    For $200 I can build you a copper cone shape charge on a rocket with a range of half a mile and the push button launcher it goes in.

    What they got were fiberglass tubes, rocket launchers only in the sense that if you had a rocket, you could launch it out of this tube.

    How stupid are the people who put morons like this in charge?

  • LC Nimmons

    You show a Training Aid. A harmless peace of Military junk. I am a big boy, tell me the truth, or do you prefer to make up stories trying to scare the Sheepeople.

  • Manolo

    The next Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) sale they have at MCB 29 Palms I'm going to buy an entire lot of expended AT-4s, take them to LA and sell them back for $100 gift cards. You can get an entire pallet of expended AT-4s for about $100; about 50 expended launch tubes come on a pallet. Ka-ching!! The LAPD chief is an absolute tool!

  • Dan

    Make you wonder why anyone would sell a $1000-$1500 AR15 for $200. Maybe cuz it was stolen? Maybe cuz its been used in a crime? Maybe some folks just arent real bright. Was that an HK 91 or 93 on that bipod? Amazing

    • seekwisdom

      Or…like the logic of the moron in the video, they love children. "You don't want to kill kids do you? So if you don't want to kill kids, you should turn your gun in and get back the money you paid in taxes to buy food. You know, that is the only use for a gun anyway. Now that you did turned in your gun, you are sure you will not kill a child. Good boy, good boy."

  • Billy

    Two rocket launchers? LOL. Must have been Ice Cube! Military force, but we don't wantcha, standin' on my roof with a rocket launcha!

  • michael bobier

    i am just sure that somebody walked into the police station and turned in 2 rocket launchers valued at what tens of thousands of dollars for gift cards. give me a break. how stupid does the L.A. POLICE Department think we are. these things are not available in any gun store that i know of. these were either ripped off from a national guard armory base, military base somewhere. i question whether these things were actually even active rocket launchers or just empty used launchers that somebody found. i guess anything to disarm the public is in order.

    • Manolo

      They probably came from a DRMO sale. They were once active weapons. Active weapons are marked with yellow paint. Blue paint or blue markings denote inert training weapons. They sell these things by the pallet because they're not good for anything after they've been fired on the range. After you fire them, everyone lines up and puts them back in the crates. A lot of the range NCOs tell you to stomp on them after they've been fired. The ammo guy counts the empty tubes, signs his inventory sheet to ensure all of the ones that were issued were fired, then they get turned back in at supply so they can be taken over to DRMO. DRMO then sells them off at public auction.

    • LawnPygmy

      Hell, it's basically an amnesty program to get illegal weapons off the street, like the RPGs and assault rifles posted in the article. Weapons which ARE out there, and ARE illegal for civilian use.

      If people want to turn in their legally purchased firearms as well, then that's their choice.

  • Whatever

    Who really thinks this works or gives a shit? The constitution and bill of rights are door mats/ toilet paper. The sheeple bend over upon request for a cavity search and thank the government for doing it and the few that still care foolishly believe voting works. If you care about your family, get a second passport and renouce before the door closes.

  • Retired Attorney

    This is utterly misleading. The rocket launcher tube is not dangerous… in fact, it is not even considered to be a weapon by the BATF. You can buy these launcher tubes at many army-navy stores without any firearms paperwork required. It is the rocket that is regulated by the government as a destructive device. That's the thing that is dangerous. The people hyping this should be ashamed.

  • American Cossack

    Charlie Beck is one of the biggest idiots out ththere in law enforcement. In parts of the country they call him the Neville Chamberlain of law enforcement. Charlie with his grandstanding avoided telling the public if these were legally demilled one time use surplus wall hangers like many LAWS or RPG tubes. If demilled to ATF specs, they are of no danger unless used as a club.
    Tell the whole story Charlie and not the PC Social Justice story.
    If demilled, you are guilty of using the airwaves for fraud and mis-leading the public. How about recording all the serial numbers of the guns you destroy and sending them to ATF Washington so they can be taken off the books as active firearms ?

    • Manolo

      AT-4s don't have to be de-militarized. They "self de-militarize" once they've been fired. The rocket scores and scorches the inside of the tube, the dust caps blow off, and both the trigger and the trigger wire snap off completely. We used to stomp the tubes on the range, but they told us to stop doing that because the fiberglass was creating an OSHA hazard in the warehouses where they stored them and an EPA hazard when they were thrown in the trash.

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