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VIDEO: Mayor Moves Up Gun Buyback to Dec. 26

Los Angeles' annual day to encourage residents to turn in guns is changed from May to the day after Christmas.

In the wake of Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced on Monday that the city's gun buyback program would be moved to the day after Christmas.

"We must redouble our efforts to get deadly weapons off the streets," Villaraigosa said during a press conference at the Los Angeles Police Department's downtown headquarters. "I feel it's critically important to provide Angelenos with concrete actions to make our city safer. As such, the program, normally scheduled for May, will be held on next Wednesday, Dec. 26."

Villaraigosa said the program has taken more than 8,000 guns off the streets in previous years. In exchange for handguns, participants will receive a $100 Ralph's gift card. Those who turn in an assault weapon will receive a $200 Ralph's gift card.

The mayor spoke about the importance of moving forward from the Newtown tragedy with public policies that will help to prevent a similar incident from occuring here.

"Together we mourn the unspeakable loss that was suffered, and together we look for ways to ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again," Villaraigoisa said.

In his address, Villaraigosa said the "national tragedy was giving way to a national conversation" about how improved mental health services and tighter gun control laws could prevent mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Villaraigosa affirmed his support for legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would ban assault weapons.

"No single piece of legislation will solve all our problems, but an assault weapons ban is a powerful first step," he said. "Cities and states must join with the federal government to do everything we can, as quickly as we can, to keep our communities safe."

Olga Hall December 18, 2012 at 08:50 PM
"SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!! IT’S A NO BRAINER! DON’T LET OUR GOVERNMENT WASTE MILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET."
Olga Hall December 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Last year my son, grandson and I had just come to a stop light, on Ave. 54 we were going north on Monte Vista when we heard shots and we see this man running with a gun on the side of the school going toward Ash Street, he turns on Ash and we hear more shots, then he comes back looking back, runs across Monte Vista and disappears in the alley between 54 and 55. This happen about 3:00 pm. Do you think this man will turn in his gun? The only people that will have guns are the upper mafia and the lower mafia.
catman December 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I'd like to add that in the one instance where a group of 16 Jewish teenagers were able to get their hands on a few guns (and some homemade explosives) that it enabled them to hold off the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto for a full month before they were ultimately outgunned and killed.
nonoise December 19, 2012 at 12:24 AM
It would have been smarter for the mayor to have the buy back program before christmas so gangmembers could have some money for christmas. Mayor and city councilmembers are not that smart.
Daniel Cooper January 09, 2013 at 09:06 PM
The right to bear arms was not given to us so that we could go duck hunting. The right to bear arms was given to us so that we would have the ability to rise up and take back our constitutional rights when the Government became corrupt and was acting outside of the powers that were given to them. The writers of the Constitution said it was our duty to do so. There are many examples of Corruption. I will give you 1 example for arguments sake. We were given the freedom of information act. When Dr Shirley Moore and Richard Fine discovered and exposed that the L.A. Superior Court Judges were excepting money that was not authorized by LAW and Sturgeon vs. Los Angeles County 1 declared those payments to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL the Judges paid a lobbyist to pass SBX211 that granted themselves (Retro Active Immunity from Prosecution). When Government and Corporations are held to the same standards of the rule of LAW as the people are held. Then and only then could there be meaningful discussions about gun control. When Government stops taking money from the people and giving it to banks and corporations and prosecutes blatant acts of corruption then gun control could be an option.

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