LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – More than 470 firearms were turned in to the city of Los Angeles Saturday in the annual gun buyback event in which residents receive gift cards for surrendering their guns.
The office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that 174 handguns, 166 rifles, 103 shotguns and 35 assault weapons were collected at two buyback collection sites in Echo Park and Mission Hills.READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Funeral Underway As England Mourns Loss Of Prince Philip
The gun buyback allows residents to surrender weapons anonymously, with no questions asked, in exchange for gift cards, which are valued at $100 for handguns, shotguns, and rifles and $200 for assault weapons as classified in the state of California.
Since the annual gun buyback program began in 2009, the city reports that 16,483 firearms have been collected. In 2017, about 7,300 guns were collected, the most since 2013.READ MORE: 2 Long Beach Grocery Stores Shutting Down Saturday Over Hero Pay Law
“Every gun that we get off the street is one less chance for a violent crime or tragic accident to strike,” said Garcetti in a statement.
The program is co-organized by the Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development and Los Angeles police.MORE NEWS: Armed Suspect Caught On Camera Robbing Group Of People In A West Hollywood Alley
According to the mayor’s office, homicides in L.A. are down 13 percent so far this year over the same period in 2017, while the number of shooting victims has dropped nearly 28 percent over the same period.