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444 guns turned in during LAPD anonymous gun buyback program


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    LOS ANGELES (KCAL, KCBS) — Over 400 guns were turned in during Los Angeles’ anonymous gun buyback program over the weekend.

According to police, 304 guns were turned in Saturday at the Van Nuys site and 140 were collected at the South Los Angeles site.

Owners received gift cards worth up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons.

Firearms that were swapped for gift cards are seen during a buyback event.

The program is completely anonymous and gun owners were not asked any questions about their firearms.

Although critics question whether the program actually reduces crime, supporters say it’s important to keep weapons out of the wrong hands.

The buyback program “is just another step in trying to get (guns) out of the wrong hands,” said LAPD Capt. Alex Baez, the commanding officer of the Newton Division in South Los Angeles.

“Our statistics are really alarming,” Baez 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.”

Guns could also be turned in from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Van Nuys Masonic Building Association.

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