Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced over the weekend that a gun-buyback program netted more than 2,500 firearms, beating last year's effort by 800 weapons.
The program paid out nearly $200,000 in Visa pre-paid cards and Ralph's gift cards for the weapons; $100 worth of plastic went for a handgun and $200 worth was doled out for an assault weapon, according to a statement from the mayor's office. The buyback happened at five locations in the city Saturday, including drop-off points in Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles. Wilmington and Mission Hills and Hollywood.
The program is sponsored by the mayor's sometimes-controversial Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office. For the second year, it allowed residents to come forward and turn in guns, no questions asked.
This year it paid out $67,000 more in Visa and Ralph's cards, with more than 800 weapons turned in versus 2009, according to the mayor's office.
At the Hollywood location a Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad responded when someone turned in a hand grenade that was later determined to be harmless.
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.