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Organization: Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station
Date: April 20, 2009
"Gifts for Guns" — A Safer Santa Clarita Valley
    Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; in partnership with the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Office of the Governor; and Supervisors Don Knabe and Mark Ridely-Thomas, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced the "Gifts for Guns" program for all of Los Angeles County on Thursday, March 26, 2009.
    Since that announcement, several Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department patrol stations have taken part in hosting the program at locations throughout Los Angeles County. The program provides a unique opportunity for residents to safely and anonymously surrender any firearm to the Sheriff's Department in exchange for a $100 or $200 gift cards usable at local retail stores.
    The program has resulted in the safe surrender of hundreds of guns and this past weekend was no exception, as the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station safely recovered 255 firearms anonymously surrendered by residents. One person even surrendered a 20 mm artillery shell, which had been in storage for the past 20 years. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Arson Explosives Detail responded and took control of the shell for safe destruction. Nearly 450 gift cards, totaling $22,450 in redemption value, were given away. One program participant dropped off 11 guns, including a Thompson .45 cal sub-machine gun, an SKS assault rifle, and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Another participant dropped off a Tec-9 assault pistol with an expanded capacity magazine. Deputies report that one of the guns had an illegal silencer on it.
    "We consider this a very successful weekend," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station. "We are fortunate to work and live in a county that is constantly looking for innovative ways to keep us all safe. These 255 firearms were on our streets and in our homes just one week ago. Now they will never be used to hurt another person, and that is saying something about the success of the program," he concluded.
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