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$100 and $200 gift cards were offered for weapons turned over to police at 19 sites citywide
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today joined City Councilmembers Wendy Greuel and Jack Weiss, LAPD Deputy Chief Charles Beck and Sheriff Department Deputy Chief Cecil Rhambo to display nearly 1700 weapons that were collected during the city's Gun Buyback program in an effort aimed at reducing levels of gun violence in our neighborhoods.
"I want to thank the L.A. residents who joined us today in securing a safer City for every family by turning in their guns and helping us get dangerous weapons off the streets," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "No legislations can replace the unified voice heard today of a community saying no to guns, gangs and indiscriminate violence in our neighborhoods."
The gun buy back effort exchanged 1,302 gift cards for weapons, awarding a total of $130,200 to participants. The daylong effort collected 1,698 firearms at 19 locations citywide. As part of the collaborative effort, the LA County Sheriff's Department collected a total of 803 firearms at four different locations in the Los Angeles area.
The citywide gun buyback program rewarded the voluntary surrender of firearms, and engaged communities towards a common goal of reducing gun violence. Individuals turning in firearms received a $100 gift card for Ralph's grocery store per handgun and riffle, and a $200 Visa gift card per higher caliber weapon.
A component of the Mayor's 2009 Gang Plan, the gun buyback program worked with intervention workers as well as community and faith based organizations to heighten awareness of the dangers of gangs and guns. In partnership with the LAPD, City Attorney's Office, LA County Sheriff's Department, and community and faith based organizations, the gun buyback secured 19 neutral locations throughout the city where individuals were able to surrender their firearms-no questions asked.
Last year alone, more than 1,500 Angelenos found themselves caught in the cross hairs of gun violence, and 65 percent of the bullets came from a gang member's gun.