On the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, nearly 400 weapons were surrendered at a recent Gift for Guns exchange program in Compton, with more than $38,000 worth of Target and Ralphs market gift cards given away. Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheriff Lee Baca co-sponsored the event, offering residents an opportunity to surrender their firearms safely and anonymously. People turning in guns received a $200 dollar gift card for an assault weapon, $100 dollar gift card for a handgun, rifle, or shotgun and a $50 dollar gift card for a non-operational gun. At the end of the day, 22 assault rifles, 193 rifles, 5 shotguns, 144 hand guns, and 22 non-operational guns were collected. The collected guns will be melted down at the Sheriff’s Department Annual Gun Melt and used for construction materials or “Peace Angels” sculptures.
“We must continue to strive for ending gun violence,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “I can think of no better way to have spent the 84th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday than working to convince residents to give up their weapons, improve the safety of their neighborhoods and buy something valuable like food or clothing. Nothing good comes at the point of a gun.”