LOS ANGELES, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Police said they collected 1,500 guns in a no-questions-asked buyback program held in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the buyback is usually held on Mothers Day, but asked LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to organize an impromptu one after the tragedy that claimed 20 students and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 18.
The buyback was stationed Wednesday in Van Nuys and south central Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News said. Many who came said they wanted to rid their homes of firearms in the wake of the shooting.
"I've got a 5-year-old grandson," said Lee Bramer of Santa Clarita, who turned in a .22-caliber handgun he'd gotten after his mother-in-law's estate sale. "I wouldn't want to see anything like that happen out here."
Police check the guns to see if they are stolen and attempt to return them to their rightful owners. Otherwise they are destroyed.
In the four gun buybacks held in Los Angeles since 2009, police said they've collected more than 8,000 weapons.