This past weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) held a gun buyback program, though the guns weren't your normal ones but rather so-called "ghost guns."
Even though L.A. City Council unanimously voted in November on prohibiting the possession, purchase, sale receipt, and transportation of an unserialized gun. They continue their mission to woo ghost-gun owners (mainly ones who own unserialized handguns to AR-15) with $25 to $200 gift cards.
LAPD held five events across the city on Saturday between 0800 PST to 1300 PST.
Anonymous Gun Buyback— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 25, 2022
- Saturday March 26, 8am to 1pm
- Multiple locations (see flier)
- Up to $100 gift card (while supplies last) for handguns, shotguns, ghost guns, and rifles
- Up to $200 gift card for assault weapons pic.twitter.com/JsvZ6Wme8W
There was no word on the total success of the buyback program. Though LAPD Chief Michel Moore said an hour into the gun buyback program that around "3" ghost guns were turned in. The rest of the other weapons listed were serialized.
Just dropped by the South LA location. Shout out of thanks to @MayorOfLA @GRYD_Foundation and our Gang Narcotics Division— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) March 26, 2022
0900 hours report
Assault Weapon 16
Ghost Gun. 3
Total 129 pic.twitter.com/78Q43PimFw
LAPD Captain Lillian Carranca told local news ABC7, "these guns cannot be traced - there is no background check completed on the individuals who want to own it."
LAPD figures show 813 ghost guns were seized in 2020. By 2021, they seized 1,921, marking a 136% increase in weapon seizures. About 25% of all seizures were ghost guns, and the majority of the illegal weapons confiscated are unserialized pistols.
"Gun "buybacks" serve mostly as a show for anti-gun politicians and do nothing to reduce gun violence," Maryland-based gun advocacy group The Machine Gun Nest (TMGN) said.
"These "buybacks" are, in fact, the clearest example of how misinformed the anti-gun agenda is because criminals do not participate in buybacks," TMGN continued.
TMGN cited a National Bureau of Economic Research study and said, "gun buybacks often only exist for gun owners to sell their old junk firearms. The same study found that the actual effect in reducing gun violence was about zero."
TMGN also notes: "Ironically still, this comes right before Biden's rule on ghost guns. Maybe the LAPD thinks that criminals pay attention to the intricate web of federal gun laws and want to dispose of their privately made firearms before the rule change. Ultimately, this is a pointless show for anti-gun politicians who care nothing about stopping real gun violence."