For the fourth year, the Los Angeles Police Department has used gift cards to buy guns from city residents in a mover to help reduce violent crime. The Department used $200,000 in gift cards donated by Ralph’s grocery to exchange for guns with no questions asked.
The city had $200,000 in vouchers that Ralphs grocery stores donated for this year’s program, in which 791 handguns – including a matching pair of pistols valued at $2,000 – 527 rifles, 302 shotguns and 53 assault weapons were turned in to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Similar gun exchanges have been conducted in cities around the country, most often with grocery store vouchers. While guardians of corporate brands might be horrified to have their companies’ gift cards associated with a gun buyback, one can’t help but wonder, with the possibility of over-spending that comes with each gift card, if both the buy backs and the value to the issuer would not be larger if a variety of cards were offered.
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