Los Angeles gave out Ralphs bazaar cards account up to $100 for handguns,… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)
Mall parking lots were arranged with after-Christmas shoppers. But boilerplate were the curve best than at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, area bags of bodies came to barter their accoutrements for Ralphs allowance cards.
Cars queued up for blocks at the drive-through events, with the burghal giving cards account up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for advance weapons. There was a bit of haggling involved, but the accoutrements were all taken.
“What do you got?” an administrator in Van Nuys asked a man in his backward twenties as he pulled up in a blooming Mazda.
Photos: L.A. gun acknowledgment
“Just one handgun, I’ve had it aback aerial school,” the man replied.
“Will you booty $50 for this?”
Many came address added than one gun. They pulled 22 pistols from the block of one white Honda, a booty that becoming the disciplinarian $1,000.
Two men in a auto barter with two accouchement in the aback bench handed over a rifle, a pistol and a MAC-12, adapted with a silencer.
Organizers and some participants accustomed aggregate abuse and affliction over the gun binge in Newtown, Conn., for the turnout. But motivations were generally a bit added complicated.
“That adolescent guy attempt up all the kids and they abhorrent the astronomic because the astronomic had the weapons in the house,” Valerie Butler said, in answer why she was cat-and-mouse in band two hours in South Los Angeles to get rid of an old handgun.
Yet Butler, 50, said she was not accepting rid of both of her guns.
“Just one,” she said, and laughed. “There’s a agglomeration of basics out here, and they’re advancing in back you’re sleeping. You got to assure yourself.”
Cities beyond the nation, acquisitive for means to acknowledge to a alternation of accumulation shootings this year, accept organized gun buybacks to get weapons off the street.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pushed the city’s anniversary accident from Mother’s Day to Wednesday in acknowledgment to the killing Dec. 14 of 20 accouchement and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary Academy in Newtown. By the afternoon, the accident had already surpassed the 1,673 accoutrements calm aftermost year, and admiral were scrambling to get added allowance cards, which were donated by Ralphs.
Many of the drivers said they were axis in their accoutrements because they rarely acclimated them and were acquisitive to snag grocery cards.
“If I could get $100 of chargeless groceries, it’s account it,” said Charles Edwards, 60, cat-and-mouse in band aing to his old .22 blaster afterwards active to Los Angeles from Fontana. “I wouldn’t do it for $40. That’s why bodies are here. They feel bad about all that’s happening, but times are tough.”
He still has a shotgun at home. “That’s all I need,” he said.
Edwards said authorities bare to bigger adapt the acknowledgment so the curve weren’t so long. He watched abundant bodies sit in band for a spell, again aloof drive away, he said. “I anticipation I could aloof bead this affair off. They charge to accept this move faster.”
Most of the weapons recovered were “mom and pop guns,” badge said — hunting rifles, shotguns — but they got a few dozen advance weapons as well.
They arrested to accomplish abiding the accoutrements were empty, and accurate by affairs the triggers in allowance barrels — metal debris containers abounding with sand. Again they put them into debris containers like bundles of sticks afterwards a windstorm.
“I had a question, one afterwards another: ‘Do we absolutely charge this? Does this absolutely accomplish us safer?’ ” Villaraigosa said at a account appointment at the Sports Arena. “I say, ‘Look, the Badge Department is actuality because they accept in this program.’ “
He said the acknowledgment affairs had taken in 8,000 accoutrements aback it began in 2009 and was aloof one allotment of a absolute badge action that has bargain agitated abomination in contempo years. Badge Chief Charlie Beck said it was a analytical component.
One of the aboriginal accoutrements calm was a appearance Bushmaster XM-15, the aforementioned affectionate of gun acclimated at Sandy Hook Elementary.
But this was one of the rarities. Loretta, 50, from South Los Angeles was bringing in her great-grandfather’s aged burglarize — one of them anyway. “I got the added well-hidden,” she said.
Alex Reyes, 47, rode his bike to the Sports Arena from East L.A. with a 68-year-old, six-shot .38 blaster and a .22 ambition pistol. He said he came in to do “a acceptable deed” afterwards the Newtown shooting, accepting rid of all of his weapons. “Just me and Jesus Christ,” he said.
Sandra Lefall, 38, came to the armpit with Newtown abundant in her heart. She had been cerebration about advancing aback she aboriginal heard the abominable news. “I’m bringing in a 9-millimeter blaster because I appetite to get it out of the abode because I accept boyish children. I would abhorrence for them to do what that guy in Connecticut did.”
By 2 p.m. in Van Nuys, the badge began cogent bodies they were out of allowance cards.
“I’m not giving this abroad for free,” said Sam Ferrell of Reseda as he took a annoyance of his cigarette in his truck.
Ferrell said he was acquisitive to advertise his stepson’s handgun. “There are too abounding kids actuality dead by these things,” he said.
He said he didn’t plan to about-face in any of his own guns, but that he was animated his stepson didn’t accept his.
“I charge my gun, but not anybody who has one needs one,” he said.
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