Gun buyback programs are often met with mixed results, but in Los Angeles, gun owners lined up at Memorial Sports Arena and the
Van Nuys Masonic Temple to trade in their guns for a free grocery gift card.
The city gave away Ralphs gift cards worth up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons. There was a bit of haggling over price, but all the handguns were collected by police.
The Los Angeles Times described one such exchange:
“What do you got?” an officer in Van Nuys asked a man in his late twenties as he pulled up in a green Mazda.
“Just one handgun, I’ve had it since high school,” the man replied.
“Will you take $50 for this?”
Some gun owners came with more than one gun, with one man pulling 22 guns from his trunk. Another had a MAC 10 as well as a gun that had been fitted with a silencer. No questions asked, just the exchange of a gun for a gift card.
A few gun owners said they weren’t getting rid of all of their guns, but just one, or two, or a few.
Yet Butler, 50, said she was not getting rid of both of her guns.
“Just one,” she said, and laughed. “There’s a bunch of nuts out here, and they’re coming in when you’re sleeping. You got to protect yourself.”
The Sandy Hook tragedy has forced Americans to reassess our gun policies. Gun control advocates prefer more regulation, while pro-gun advocates, such as the NRA, would prefer more guns in American life.