On May 9, 2009, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa launched the Citywide Gun Buyback program which rewarded residents of Los Angeles for their voluntary surrender of firearms to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Prior to the event, Mayor Villaraigosa said, “We are calling on all L.A. residents to join us in securing a safer City for every family by imploring individuals to turn in their guns. It’s our chance to take matters into our own hands and prevent the next tragic shooting and the next unnecessary murder.”
The Gun Buyback Program is one component of the Mayor’s 2009 Gang Plan. Its success is not only dependent on those who surrender their guns, but also the collaborative efforts made by the LAPD, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and community based organizations.
The program, funded by a grant from Ralph’s Corporation and the United States Department of Justice, took place on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at 19 sites around the City. Individuals who turned in a handgun, shotgun or rifle received a $100 Visa cash card, or gift card to Ralph’s Grocery Store. Those who turned in higher caliber assault weapons, for example, an AK-47, Uzi or AR-15, received a $200 gift card per weapon.
“Last year, more than 1,500 people were victims of gun violence and far too many were victims of gang violence. The Department clearly recognizes that it is in the best interest of our City for the LAPD to seek creative and effective ways to work and establish meaningful community relationships to lower crime and to reduce fear and public disorder.” – Chief William J. Bratton.
Individuals who were not able to attend the event may still voluntarily turn in a firearm to any
Los Angeles Police Department Community Police Station. However there are no more reward cards available for your good deed of surrendering a firearm. Those choosing to bring a firearm to a police station should transport it unloaded and secured in a locked container or stored in a vehicle trunk, and announce your intent to the police officer you greet. Please visit the LAPD website at www.lapdonline.org to find the nearest community police station.
For additional information, please contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.