What to expect at Saturday’s gun buyback event at MacArthur Park
By Jason Ruiz,2023-06-08
A gun buyback event that’s being hosted Saturday at MacArthur Park in Central Long Beach will provide people an opportunity to exchange unwanted firearms and rifles for gift cards as officials work to get unwanted guns off the streets.
The event is being hosted by Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who will have hosted five gun buybacks since last May, including Saturday’s event. Hahn’s office said in a release Wednesday that the four previous events have collected over 800 guns, which were destroyed by local law enforcement agencies.
An event at Ramona Park in September saw about 200 guns brought in by residents who exchanged them for gift cards. Gift cards being handed out Saturday will range from $50 to $200, depending on the type of gun.
“Across the country and even right here in Long Beach, gun violence is leaving devastated families in its wake,” Hahn said in a statement. “We know that a gun in the home makes everyone—ourselves, our children, our neighbors—less safe. We can’t wait for Congress to act, so I’m bringing these opportunities for our residents to get unwanted weapons out of their homes.”
Hahn’s office is hosting the event in collaboration with the Long Beach Police Department. The event is scheduled to run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Here are some details on how the gun buyback will work.
How should I transport my gun?
For safety reasons, residents are being asked to drive to the event and have whatever guns they intend to turn in placed in their trunks and unloaded. LBPD officers will be on-site to help ensure that weapons being turned in are not loaded and disabled before being sorted to be destroyed.
What types of guns are accepted and how much will I get?
The event Saturday has three trade-in values, with non-functioning guns eligible for a $50 gift card. Handguns, shotguns and rifles are eligible for a $100 gift card and assault rifles can be traded in for a $200 gift card.
Liz Odendahl, Hahn’s communications director, said that the event is also accepting homemade guns, like 3D-printed “ghost guns,” which will be evaluated on the day of the event for functionality. If they’re believed to be in working condition, they’ll be eligible for the type of gun they appear to resemble, she said.
The gift cards will be either Amazon gift cards or for local grocery stores, and there are about 1,000 of them ready to go for Saturday’s event.
“We’re not going to run out of gift cards, and if we get close to running out, we’ll go buy more,” Odendahl said.
There is no limit to how many guns one person can turn in.
Will I have to provide any information?
Odendahl said it’s important for people to understand that although police will be present at the event, they won’t be asking people who show any identification or information.
“That’s what we’re trying to get over,” she said. “We’re trying to get out the word that it really is anonymous, no questions asked.”
People will be directed to pull into the MacArthur Park parking lot, which will be marked off for the event where the exchange process will begin.
The extent of the police questioning people will face is whether they have a gun to turn over, how many and what type of gun. Once the guns are retrieved from a person’s trunk, they’ll move to a different station where the gift cards will be handed out. The process should take about 10 minutes, she said.
Odendahl said the hope for Saturday’s event is that they’ll have so many guns turned in they’ll have to make a run to buy more gift cards.
MacArthur Park is located 1321 E. Anaheim St.
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