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The 2010 Gun Buyback Program

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Today, I announced the details of LA's second Gun Buyback Program, taking place Saturday, May 8.

In a show of unity, I stood with members of the community like Pastor Calloway, who has lost too many members of his congregation to gun violence and Vicky Lindsey, who was inspired to start Project Cry No More after her son and husband were murdered in senseless acts.

These stories put into perspective how important it to get dangerous weapons off our streets. Far too often these weapons are obtained by flouting the law. And those who break the law to steal a gun are much more likely to use that gun to commit a crime, which is why we often find guns at the center of violent crimes that could have been avoided.

For that reason, we are calling on all L.A. residents to join us in securing a safer City for every family, to implore Angelenos to turn in their guns and participate in our Gun Buyback Program. We believe that when faced with an easy, safe way to voluntarily surrender a weapon coupled with the right kind of incentives people will come forward and give up their guns.

And we know we are right. We began this effort last year in May to incredible success with the collection of nearly 1,700 firearms. Not only did it serve to take dangerous weapons off our streets, but it also served as a theft deterrent.

As you know, the vast majority of guns that are used to commit crimes are stolen or otherwise obtained illegally. The Gun Buyback Program gives individuals a comfortable and accessible site where they can drop off their weapons on neutral ground--no questions asked. In exchange, they receive a Ralph's gift card or a VISA pre-paid card of up to $200 for assault weapons, and up to $100 for handguns.

The bottom line here is that the gifts-for-guns method has been tested and it works. It effectively takes firearms off our streets and away from our children, makes our neighborhoods safer, and goes a long way towards combating the scourge of gang violence and it puts some extra cash in the pockets of those who need it, especially during these tough economic times.

By working together, we can take thousands more weapons out of our neighborhoods so that children can walk to and from school safely, parents don't have to live in fear of losing their sons and daughters to senseless acts of violence, businesses can operate without worrying that they are in harm's way.

By thinking strategically and by offering the right incentives, we can create a safer Los Angeles, neighborhood by neighborhood. I want to urge all Angelenos to join us to make this Gun Buyback even more successful than the last.

Get details of the program, including drop-off locations and flyers you can print out, go to my Gun Buyback page.

Cross-posted at mayor.lacity.org