Sheriff's Department plans 'Gifts for Guns' buyback program Monday
Less than a month after the Los Angeles Police Department collected 2,037 weapons during a daylong buyback event, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is launching its annual “Gifts for Guns” program Monday.
Sheriff's deputies will be on hand in the parking lot of a Ralphs supermarket at 280 E. Compton Blvd. in Compton from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., exchanging weapons for gift cards.
“Anybody can go into any patrol station and anonymously donate their gun,” said sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida. “But this gives them the opportunity to do that and receive some money.”
Weapons that have not been stolen are to be melted down and molded into rebar, Nishida said. The process is common among guns collected from buyback programs and department confiscations, Nishida said.
But some law enforcement agencies are starting their own trends. Newark Mayor Cory Booker is touting jewelry made from melted-down guns seized by New Jersey police.
Gun buyback programs have garnered more attention in recent months in response to a string of mass shootings across the country.
This week, Congress introduced a bill that would offer gun owners a $2,000 federal tax credit for turning in an assault weapon to police.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will give gift cards in the amounts of $200 for an assault weapon, $100 for a handgun, rifle, or shotgun and $50 for a non-operational firearm. The cards are redeemable at Target or Ralphs.
-- Dalina Castellanos
Photo: A member of the media takes a picture of some of the more than 2,000 firearms collected during a Dec. 26 gun buyback program in Los Angeles. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times