Relaymedia

Thousands in Los Angeles Turn in Guns for Gifts Cards

( [email protected] ) Dec 26, 2012 10:15 AM EST
Thousands of people came to Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple to exchange their guns for Ralphs gift cards.
Thousands of people exchanged their guns for gift cards Wednesday at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Rifles, shotguns, handguns as well as assault weapons were sold to the Los Angeles Police Department in an annual event that was moved up in the wake of the recent school shooting in Connecticut. Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Thousands of people came to Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple to exchange their guns for Ralphs gift cards.

According to Los Angeles Times, cars queued by for blocks at the drive-through events, with the city giving cards worth up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons. All the guns were taken.

Organizers and some participants credited collective outrage and anguish over the gun rampage in Newton, Conn., for the turnout. But motivations were often a bit more complicated.

“That young guy shot up all the kids and they blamed the mama because the mama had the weapons in the house,” Valerie Butler told the Los Angeles Times, in explaining why she waited in line for two hours in South Los Angles to get rid of an old handgun.

Many came bearing more than one gun. They pulled 22 pistols from the trunk of one white Honda, a haul that earned the driver $1,000.

On Saturday, the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., published an interactive map showing the names and addresses of thousands of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

With a click and zoom, the address of everybody who owns a handgun permit was revealed. The paper said that the information was obtained from public records.

The story dominated the Internet.