Tags: gun | buy-back | rocket | launcher

LA Gun Buy-Back Nets 2 Rocket Launchers

Friday, 28 Dec 2012 01:40 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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In addition to 75 assault rifles, two rocket launchers were among the thousands of firearms collected in a police-sponsored, no-questions-asked, gun buy-back in Los Angeles on Thursday.
 
Hundreds of people lined up to hand over the weapons in exchange for gift cards to Ralphs, a grocery chain.

During the one-day collection, Los Angeles police received 2,037 weapons, almost 400 more than collected in a similar program earlier this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Among them were 901 handguns, 698 rifles, and 363 shotguns. The weapons will be melted down.
 
"These are not hunting guns. These are not target guns. These are made to put high-velocity, extremely deadly, long-range rounds downrange as quickly as possible, and they have no place in our great city," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a press conference.
 
A police official told LA Weekly that the "shoulder-fired" rocket launchers were decades-old, light anti-tank weapons and were probably picked up by collectors or passed down to family members by veterans. They propel rocket grenades, but the official called them "non-working" because they did not have the "projectiles" with them.
 
"As you can see to my right and left, these weren't just guns that weren't functioning anymore," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, standing amidst the stockpile of weaponry. "These were serious guns — semiautomatic weapons, guns that have no place on the streets of Los Angeles or any other city."
 
The mayor told reporters the buy-back was so successful that they ran out of money for the supermarket gift cards. The city received a private donation obtained through the city controller to make sure the gun donors were compensated for their weapons.
 
It was the second such program held in Los Angeles this year. The city's gun buy-back is held annually on Mother's Day. But this second event was moved toward the end of 2012 in response to the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
 
Since then, several gun buy-backs have been held around the country.
 
In southern Florida, an Uzi submachine gun "like the one used by Scarface" was turned in to a buy-back sponsored by the Opa-locka Police Department, the Miami Herald reported.
 
Two Uzi-style guns turned up at a buy-back Friday in San Diego that was sponsored by African-American ministers, according to The Atlantic. That buy-back retrieved 360 weapons before 10 a.m.
 
Villaraigosa acknowledged that many guns were still on the city's streets. A 2012 Congressional research report said that by 2009 there were about 310 million firearms in the U.S.
 
 
 
 

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