Posted on 05/16/2018

Dozens of assault rifles are among the firearms collected at May 12 events held in Northeast Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that his Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development and the LAPD collected more than 470 guns  — including close to three dozen assault weapons — at dual gun buybacks held on May 12.

“Every gun that we get off the street is one less chance for a violent crime or tragic accident to strike,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Angelenos turn in unwanted weapons because they understand that all of us can play a part in ending gun violence — and I’m grateful to everyone who participated in the buyback program.”

In all, 478 firearms were collected at the buyback events — 35 assault weapons, 174 handguns, 103 shotguns, and 166 rifles.

The Gun Buyback program allows individuals to surrender weapons anonymously in exchange for store gift cards — $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and $200 for assault weapons as classified in the State of California.

Since the City began organizing annual gun buybacks in 2009, 16,483 weapons have been collected at the events. To expand the program, the Mayor has partnered with the non-profit organization Gun by Gun on an initiative that allows Angelenos to financially support efforts to get guns out of their own communities.

“Each gun that we recover in this Buyback program is one less gun that could be responsible for a shooting victim,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “Its success is a product of powerful community partnerships and residents who want to make our communities safer.”

Reducing gun violence is a top priority for Mayor Garcetti, who has signed laws that ban large capacity ammunition magazines and require that guns be stored and locked while at home and not in use.

In 2017, the Mayor set a goal to get at least 20,000 guns off the streets of L.A. in five years. The City is well ahead of the pace to meet that goal — collecting 7,300 last year alone, the most since 2013.

At the beginning of 2018, Mayor Garcetti directed the LAPD to start the year by clearing the list of prohibited gun owners — people who are no longer legally allowed to possess firearms, including felons and people with a history of domestic violence or severe mental health issues. In mid-April, officers were able to bring that list down to zero.

Mayor Garcetti has also committed additional resources to the people and communities most affected by gun violence: he worked with the LAPD to create a Crime Gun Intelligence Center, which matches guns to crimes and crimes to criminals — by coordinating the work of local and federal law enforcement and using data-driven strategies, forensic expertise, and prosecutorial resources to drive down gun violence and combat illegal gun trafficking and dealing. And in 2016, Mayor Garcetti and the LAPD established the Community Safety Operations Center (CSOC) in South L.A. — a command post where specially-trained and equipped officers can pool their information to pinpoint the response to violent crime. The strategy has worked: Last year, LAPD’s South Bureau saw the lowest number of homicides and victims shot since 1973. The CSOC is now being taken citywide.

The Mayor’s strategies to reduce gun violence are showing results. Homicide in Los Angeles is down more than 13 percent compared to the same time period last year, and the number of people shot has fallen by close to 28 percent.