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Thousands Exchange Guns For Gift Cards In Los Angeles

Amanda Martinez |
December 27, 2012 | 10:32 a.m. PST

Executive Producer


The no-questions asked buyback program drew long lines and thousands of guns. (Svadilfari/Flickr)
The no-questions asked buyback program drew long lines and thousands of guns. (Svadilfari/Flickr)

Over 1,500 rifles and handguns were exchanged Wednesday in Los Angeles for grocery store gift cards as part of a buyback initiative.

SEE ALSO: Photos and more information from Wednesday's event

The anonymous guns-for-groceries program offered $100 Ralph's cards, while assault rifles earned $200 cards.

The program, held annually every May, was bumped up in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. 

Yet, as the LA Times reported, the motive for selling guns was often related to the financial incentive rather than the Connecticut shooting. In many cases, participants admitted to still owning weapons despite handing over at least one gun.

“I had a question, one after another: ‘Do we really need this? Does this really make us safer?’ ” Villaraigosa said at a news conference at the Sports Arena. “I say, look, the Police Department is here because they believe in this program.”

Since the buyback program launched in 2009 in an attempt to reduce violent crime, police have collected 8,000 guns. 


Read the full story at the LA Times.

Reach Executive Producer Amanda Martinez here.



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