LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — This weekend’s “gun buyback” will be Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first since taking office.
CBS2’s Pat Harvey sat down with the mayor to talk about the the program, aimed at reducing violence. He insists it’s more important now than ever.
“I’ve seen families who have lost their sons and daughters, their brothers and sisters. That pain never goes away,” Garcetti said. “Many people have guns to protect themselves. But we want people to know those guns can just as easily be used against you in a household.”
Garcetti said the long-running program has taken 11,000 guns off the streets in the last five to six years. This year he said he hopes to close 2,000 weapons. Each one surrendered, he said, is potentially saving a life.
“A lot of people say, ‘Do these gun buy backs actually do anything?’ Even if one of these 2,000-plus guns this year can prevent someone from dying… It was worth it,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti is also launching – for the first time in the program’s history – a statewide “gun buyback” program, which will take place on December 14 with buyback locations set up across both Northern and Southern California.
“You know throughout California, people will be a part of this because guns don’t care about city borders,” Garcetti said.
“It’s important for us to do this statewide and really have the best shot of closing down the accidents and the violence that can come from these guns,” he continued, adding, “It’s not that gun buyers or gun owners are bad people. Most are law abiding citizens, who are good people. [They] have the right to have these… but if they want to get rid of them these can fall into the wrong hands.”
CBS2 is partnering with the City of Los Angeles and the LAPD for this weekend’s gun buyback.
Guns can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the following three locations across the city:
Central Los Angeles
Los Angeles Fire Department
Frank Hotchkins Training Academy
1700 Stadium Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012
South Los Angeles
Park & Ride Parking Lot
1300 West Pacific Coast Highway
Wilmington, CA 90744
Van Nuys Area
Van Nuys Masonic Temple
14750 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91405
Gift cards worth $100 will be handed out in exchange for handguns, shotguns and rifles. Those turning in assault weapons, as classified by the state of California, will be given $200 gift cards. Quantities of gift cards are limited and subject to availability.
Organizers ask that firearms be transported unloaded and vehicle trunks. There is no limit to the number of firearms that can be surrendered, however, there may be a limit on the number of gift cards an individual receives.
Once surrendered, firearms become the property of the Los Angeles Police Department. Firearms will be checked for lost and stolen status, and organizers say they will return those weapons to their rightful owners. The rest of the surrendered guns will be destroyed by the LAPD.
For more information, call (877) LAPD-247.