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An annual gun buyback program in Los Angeles was moved up in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shootings in an attempt to encourage people to relinquish their weapons in exchange for groceries.

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Long lines of people gathered in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, as police filled bins with 1,500 rifles and handguns. The anonymous buyback program allowed individuals to receive $100 in gift cards at Ralph’s Grocery Store. Assault weapons earned a $200 card.

“All of us are still mourning the tragedy at Newtown, Conn.,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “So many young innocent children were mass-murdered in the way that they were, and now the assassination of two firefighters … just breaks the heart of so many of us, particularly in this holiday season.”

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This isn’t the biggest buyback program the city as seen. Usually held in May, last year’s buyback garnered over 1,700 weapons.

While that number is lower this year, it’s still great to see that people are willing to give up their firearms in an attempt to curb crime.

SOURCE: Huffington Post

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