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'Gifts for Guns' nets 255 weapons in SCV

Swapped for gift cards totaling $22,450

Posted: April 20, 2009 6:57 p.m.
Updated: April 21, 2009 4:00 p.m.
Sheriff Lee Baca and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in partnership with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Office of the Governor, and Supervisors Don Knabe and Mark Ridely-Thomas and the county Board of Supervisors,
unveiled the county-wide "Gifts for Guns" program on Thursday, March 26.

Since that announcement, several Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department patrol stations have taken part in hosting the program at locations throughout Los Angeles County.

The program provides a unique opportunity for residents to safely and anonymously surrender any firearm to the Sheriff's Department in exchange for a $100 or $200 gift cards usable at local retail stores.

The program has resulted in the safe surrender of hundreds of guns and this past weekend was no exception, as the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station safely recovered 255 firearms anonymously surrendered by residents.

One person even surrendered a 20 mm artillery shell, which had been in storage for the past 20 years. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Arson Explosives Detail responded and took control of the shell for safe destruction.

One program participant dropped off 11 guns, including a Thompson .45 cal sub-machine gun, an SKS assault rifle, and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Another participant dropped off a Tec-9 assault pistol with an expanded capacity magazine. Deputies report that one of the guns had an illegal silencer on it.

Nearly 450 gift cards, totaling $22,450 in redemption value, were given away.

"We consider this a very successful weekend," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. "We are fortunate to work and live in a county that is constantly looking for innovative ways to keep us all safe. These 255 firearms were on our streets and in our homes just one week ago. Now they will never be used to hurt another person, and that is saying something about the success of the program."

Additional safe surrender events are planned for the coming weeks throughout Los Angeles County as part of the "Gifts for Guns" program as follows:

April 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Altadena Sheriff Station
* San Dimas Sheriff Station

May 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*Crescenta Valley Sheriff Station
* Marina del Rey Sheriff Station

May 8-9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* East Los Angeles Sheriff Station
* Lennox Sheriff Station
* Industry Sheriff Station

May 22-23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Lost Hills Sheriff Station (May 23 only)
* Avalon Sheriff Station (May 22 only)

May 30-31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Temple Sheriff Station
* Compton Sheriff Station
* Pico Rivera Sheriff Station

The drop off sites are not generally at the Sheriff's Station itself. Contact any of the above referenced stations or Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau (323) 526-5541 for more details and safe surrender locations or visit the Web site.


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