Pistols, rifles, shotguns and other firearms were collected Saturday during a gun buyback program held at three locations in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Police Department officers accepted the weapons in Van Nuys, Wilmington and Central L.A. during a daylong collection that was part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office, officials said.
“It is anonymous, no questions asked,” said Officer Norma Eiseman, spokeswoman for the LAPD. “All we’re asking is: Drive on through, turn in your weapon, receive your gift card.”
Anyone who surrendered a firearm was offered a gift card redeemable at Ralphs grocery stores: $100 for a handgun or rifle, $200 for an assault weapon.
Leaonard Stone brought two revolvers to a collection location in Elysian Park.
“If somebody broke into the house or something, they could get those guns and use them for some type of criminal activity,” he said. “Therefore, I felt it was better, in the long run, to give these guns up.”
Gun buyback programs are not without their critics, who say the guns that are turned in are the least likely to be used to commit a crime. Nonetheless, more than 11,000 firearms have been turned in since 2009, the mayor’s office said.
At a news conference on Monday, Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck are expected to announce the total number of weapons that were surrendered Saturday.