By: Robert Davis

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development held two gun “buyback” events over the weekend, offering gun owners gift cards in exchange for firearms.

“Fewer guns means fewer chances for crimes and tragic accidents that devastate our families and communities,” Garcetti said in a statement the Los Angeles Times published. “We’re going to keep bringing down gun violence in Los Angeles, and a big part of that is working with responsible owners to get dangerous, unwanted firearms off the street and out of homes – so they can never fall into the hands of criminals or children.”

“The program … allows anyone to surrender firearms anonymously in exchange for gift cards,” reported. “The cards are valued at $100 for handguns, shotguns, and rifles, and $200 for firearms classified as assault weapons in California.”
Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, says these buyback schemes don’t decrease gun violence.

“It’s silly. The number of tragic accidents in California is so small. Gun owners take the time to be safe with firearms and store them,” Paredes told Gunpowder Magazine. “These buyback programs typically collect a couple hundred or 1,000 guns that are non-functioning or obsolete. It does nothing to reduce gun violence. The single most important thing the state has done to reduce violence is to increase the gang [prevention] program in city. That’s where a majority of gun crimes are.”

Garcetti set a goal in May 2017 of collecting 20,000 guns off of the streets of L.A. within five years.

“The city is well ahead of the pace needed to meet that goal — collecting 7,300 last year alone, the most since 2013, according to a news release from the mayor’s office,” the Times reported. According to ABC7, this most recent buyback resulted in “dozens” of weapons being turned in, which, the TV station reports, “will be taken to a facility and melted.”

“For every 1,000 residents in California, there are 7.6 guns,” CBSNews reported in October 2017. “That’s 292,877 registered firearms dispersed among 38,332,521 people.”

Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment policy for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at

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