The Los Angeles Police Department’s annual gun buyback netted about 770 guns to be melted down this year, and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck reacted by suggesting the city will be safer because the guns are gone.
The surrendered firearms consisted of handguns, rifles, and some “assault weapons.” A WWII anti-tank rocket launcher was also handed over. The LAPD gave Target gift cards valued at $100 to $200 for each gun.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Each of those guns represents one less opportunity to take a life or to lose a life.”
Chief Beck echoed Garcetti, suggesting buybacks are a “factor” in decreasing gun violence. He said, “Guns are what turn a minor dispute between young people on the street from a shouting match to a funeral.” The gun Beck wore on his hip as he spoke demonstrated that guns also serve a good purpose in society.
The 772 guns surrendered consisted of “370 handguns, 220 rifles, 142 shotguns and 40 assault weapons,” in addition to the WWII-era anti-tank weapon.
Only six of the 772 weapons came up as “stolen,” and the Times reports that “some of the guns had gathered dust for years or even decades before their owners handed them over.” But city councilman Mitch Englander said, “Had we done this all for one gun, it would have been a success — one less victim.”
The Times points to a 2013 study of a Hartford, Connecticut, buyback, which shows such buybacks result in “no subsequent drop in gun-related deaths.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.