Thursday, February 21, 2013
Santa Ana police to hold gun buy-back Feb. 23 city’s stadium, and receive gift cards worth up to $200.
SANTA ANA – Police and city officials announced plans for a no-questions-asked gun buy-back that will take place at Santa Ana Stadium Saturday.
In exchange for the weapons they turn in, residents will receive $100 or $200 gift cards from four retailers that the city is purchasing with $80,000 in funds seized in illegal drug investigations.
Officials announced details of the program on Wednesday at the Santa Ana Police Department, where a couple of dozen weapons, ranging from Saturday night specials to assault rifles and military weapons such as an M1 carbine, were displayed. The number of weapons was typical of what police seize each month, officials said.
"Just by looking at the type of weapons in front of me, you can see the potential danger out there," said Carlos Rojas, the city's acting police chief. "These are weapons that were seized off the street by our officers doing their day-to-day duties in the community."
People who turn in rifles, handguns and shotguns will receive $100 gift cards, and those who turn in assault rifles will receive $200 gift cards. Authorities said they had no idea how many weapons might be turned in. A gun buy-back in Garden Grove in December yielded about 10 weapons. Los Angeles police collected more than 2,000 firearms in a December buy-back, while an event last month in Compton yielded 386, news accounts said.
Pulido asked as he held up a World War II-era MP 40, a German submachine gun that police had seized. "You don't need this kind of weapon for hunting, you don't need it for recreation. This just does a lot of damage to a lot of people very quickly."
The program will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 602 N. Flower St., adjacent to Santa Ana Stadium.
Police ask that people turning in weapons place them unloaded, into the trunks of their vehicles. Ballistics technicians will retrieve the weapons.
The buy-back is anonymous. Staff working the event will ask to see proof of Santa Ana residence, such as a utility bill, California identification or consular ID card to qualify for a gift card. Non-residents can turn in guns, but won't receive gift cards. They're from Northgate Gonzalez Market, Target, Stater Bros. and Walmart.