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L.A. gun buyback day next week: Mayor, LAPD announce locations

 An array of handguns, rifles, shotguns, rifles and assault weapons collected during a Los Angeles gun buyback in May. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Police Department and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced two locations for the city's gun buyback program next Wednesday, which was moved up months ahead of schedule after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.

Gun owners can turn in their weapons at either the Los Angeles Sports Arena in downtown Los Angeles or the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, officials announced. Ralphs gift cards will be exchanged for the firearms; up to $100 in gift cards will be given to those who turn in handguns, rifles and shotguns, and up to $200 in gift cards for assault weapons.

The annual program is typically held in May, but Villaraigosa announced earlier this week that it would be rescheduled to given Angelenos a chance to take "concrete action" after Friday's shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself. Authorities said he also shot and killed his mother.

"Too often we wake up with another headline that reminds us we are too late," Villaraigosa said at a Monday news conference. "In Los Angeles, we believe we should stand together" to prevent similar incidents, he added.

A flier for the buyback asked that all weapons be unloaded and transported in vehicle trunks.

Both sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, officials said. The L.A. Sports Arena is located at 3939 South Figueroa St.; the Van Nuys Masonic Temple is at 14750 Sherman Way.


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-- Kate Mather

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Photo: An array of handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons collected during a Los Angeles gun buyback in May. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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