LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — CBS2/KCAL9 is teaming up with the city of Los Angeles for this year’s Anonymous Gun Buyback event on Saturday, May 7 as part of the city’s efforts to cut crime.
Police chief Charlie Beck showed Paul Magers an area that is normally off limits as he talked about the city’s push to get illegal and unwanted firearms off the streets.READ MORE: 2 Long Beach Grocery Stores Shutting Down Saturday Over Hero Pay Law
Deep underneath the Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Detention Center, past the restricted access sign and behind lock and key was plenty of evidence of gun violence that is rarely seen.
“These are all crime guns. These are all guns that had been taken off the streets of Los Angeles,” Beck said as he opened the LAPD’s gun locker. The storage room is filled with rows and rows of weapons seized from crime cases – some 5,000 to 8,000 of them.
The chief insisted that the buyback program is aimed at collecting only weapons that are unwanted and unused. “We’re not looking for your sporting guns. We’re not looking for your hunting guns. We’re not looking for guns that you responsibly keep for your personal protection. What we want is those guns that are sitting unused, unwanted,” he said.
The city’s top cop said unwanted guns often times can end up with deadly consequences. “Those kind of guns are the kind of guns that are used in suicides, the kinds of guns that fall into the hands of kids. They’re the kind of guns that are stolen from your house in a residential burglary,” Beck added.READ MORE: Armed Suspect Caught On Camera Robbing Group Of People In A West Hollywood Alley
Through the gun buyback program over the years, the city has removed more than 14,000 illegal and unwanted guns off the streets, always no questions asked and never with a prosecution.
“If you didn’t believe it at first, you’ve got to believe it now because our track record proves it,” the chief said.
But can the buyback program deter crime? Beck said: “There is no one thing that’s successful. It’s a combination of things. But I’m convinced that this is a worthy piece of our violence reduction strategy in the city of Los Angeles.”
The weapons turned in through the buyback will eventually be melted down.MORE NEWS: Motive Unknown After 8 Killed At Indianapolis FedEx Facility
Click here for more information on Saturday’s gun buyback program.