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Los Angeles police collect 1,500 guns in buyback
California » People looking for ways to reduce senseless killings.


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"He was leery, but I was explaining to him they want the guns off the streets," Reyes said after getting $200 in gift cards. "This is the perfect opportunity."

In four previous gun buybacks since 2009, police collected almost 8,000 weapons.

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The one in May will still be held, the mayor said at a press conference at the Coliseum.

The LAPD started the day with $130,000 in gift cards, donated by Ralphs, the Wellness Foundation and private donors. Beck said some might be turned away, but Villaraigosa said people were making phone calls trying to raise more money. Police said later they had stopped handing out the gift cards around 4 p.m., but continued accepting guns.

A man driving out of the Van Nuys event said he couldn’t give his name because he’s a National Rifle Association life member and doesn’t want his friends to know he turned in a gun.

Referring to the other people driving out, many of whom appeared elderly or middle-aged, he added, "I would say that the people turning them in are the ones that should be keeping them. And I don’t see many gangbangers in the line."

Police said some of the weapons were, in fact, gangbanger guns in perfect working order.

"I know as an officer, it makes me feel safer having those guns off the street," said Lt. Natalie Cortez, commander of the LAPD’s specialized gun unit.




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