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Give Guns, Get Gift Cards: LAPD Firearm Buyback Day is Tomorrow

gun-exchange-2007.jpg
In this Dec. 2007 photo, guns are collected by the LA County Sheriff's Department in a similar gift card "exchange" program as the LAPD's Buyback program (Photo by Sundogg via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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It's become an annual tradition for the Los Angeles Police Department and other city officials: One day a year, they will trade you your unloaded gun(s) for a gift card. The 2011 Gun Buyback day is taking place tomorrow, Saturday May 7th, at six locations set up around the city.

Individuals surrendering firearms will receive a gift card to Ralphs or receive a pre-paid Mastercard. The cost per firearm will depend on its type, up to $200 for assault weapons as specified in the State of California and up to $100 for handguns, rifles and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit will be on site to determine the type of classification of the firearm surrendered. Last year, over 2,500 firearms were collected via the Buyback program, and $197,400 was awarded in gift cards.

Today, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reflected on the success of the 2010 event, remarking: "We proved that together, it’s in our hands to make our neighborhoods safer by taking dangerous weapons off the streets and this year, we have the chance to do it again."

If you've got a weapon or two you'd rather swap for a gift card, be sure to get them to the venue nearest you safely. Your guns need to be brought in unloaded, and in the trunk of your car. Who knows, maybe this year the LAPD will come into possession of a piece that inspires debate like in 2009.

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Buyback Locations


  1. LAPD Northeast Area: Frank Hotchkins Training Academy
  2. LAPD Harbor Area: Park & Ride Parking Lot
  3. LAPD 77th Area : Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  4. LAPD Southwest Area: Santa Barbara Plaza
  5. LAPD Hollywood Division: Florentine Gardens
  6. LAPD Mission Area : Facey Medical Center Parking Lot