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LA holds gun buyback early after US school shooting

Published on Dec 27, 2012 6:10 AM
Police officers load bins containing guns onto a truck during a gun buyback held by the Los Angeles Police Department, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in Los Angeles, California, Dec 26, 2012. The programme normally occurs in May but Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accelerated the schedule in response to the Dec 14 shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, along with the gunman, and caused a national outcry against gun violence. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Los Angeles' no-questions-asked gun buyback event, where weapons could be exchanged for up to US$200 (S$244), was held on Wednesday, five months early after the Connecticut school shooting.

Gun owners could take their arms to one of two locations in return for a US$100 grocery store gift card for handguns, rifles and shotguns, or a US$200 card for automatic weapons.

"Cities and states must join with the federal government to do everything we can, as quickly as we can, to keep our communities safe," said LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "It is absolutely critical to provide Angelenos with concrete actions they can take today to make our city safer tomorrow," he added.

Mr Villaraigosa brought forward the date of the event, usually held in May, following the Dec 14 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a gunman killed 26 people including 20 young children.

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