SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The LAPD teamed with Councilmember Curren Price and the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development to hold their annual gun buyback event in South L.A.
People who turned guns in received $100 to $200 gift cards in return. There were handguns, rifles, ammo, and shotguns — the firearms turned in for the buyback ran the gamut.
What You Need To Know
- The LAPD teamed with Councilmember Curren Price and the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development to hold their annual gun buyback event in South L.A.
- People who turned guns in received $100 to $200 gift cards in return
- Handguns, rifles, ammo, and shotguns were all turned in for the buyback
- There was another gun buyback event held in the San Fernando Valley as well
Those turning in guns didn’t even have to get out of their car. A specially trained expert with LAPD's Gang Narcotics Unit removed the firearms and any ammunition from their trunk, and then they were free to go.
Mike Jones explained how, after living in this area for 30 years, he is thankful for events like this.
"I love it," he said. "It’s great. Get the guns off the street."
Jones turned in a .22 caliber automatic that he bought at a pawn shop back in 1995.
“I didn’t want to just give it or sell it on the streets, so I figured this was the safest way to do it," he said.
LAPD Captain Alex Baez calls safe disposal the best case scenario. The area commanding officer for the Newton Division stated how in the first three months of 2021, officers have recovered nearly triple the amount of firearms during this period last year.
"Our statistics are really alarming," he said. "When you look at the fact that this time last year, our officers had recovered about 60 firearms. We’re up to 160 already this year, and every single day it seems like we’re recovering two or three firearms at every stop. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of firearms in our community, and this is just another step in trying to get them out of the wrong hands."
Baez added that in the last 48 hours alone, Newton area officers have recovered another dozen firearms in traffic stops and other enforcement.
It's an issue the councilman who presides over this district calls critical. Coucilmember Curren Price was happy to see how many guns had already been voluntarily turned in when he stopped by.
"Aside from COVID-19, gun violence is the number two public health issue in our community, and so anything we can do to get the guns off the streets is a step in the right direction," said Price.
Jones agreed. After losing his own loved ones to gun violence, he hopes others are encouraged to give their guns up as well.
"Bullets don’t have a name," he said. "Innocent people, a lot of innocent people losing their lives. Kids get hold [of] the guns, people with bad decisions have guns, so it [doesn't] need to be in the hands of everyone.”
There was another gun buyback event held in the San Fernando Valley as well. At that site, more than 200 guns were turned in.