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L.A. Gun Buyback Brings in Rocket Launcher

by G&A Online Editors   |  May 16th, 2012 17
LA gun buyback

From the Los Angeles Times

Gun buybacks are nothing new. For years, local law enforcement agencies have hosted events that entice gun owners to trade in their (sometimes illegal) sidearms in exchange for cash or gift cards, no questions asked, in an effort to get illegally owned guns off the street.

Typically, you would think of a few handguns being turned in. Some rifles and shotguns would pop up, sure, and it really shouldn’t be a surprise to see a few assault weapons turned in.

But anti-tank weaponry? That’s another story.

Believe it or not, a recent Los Angeles gun buyback brought in a military-style rocket launcher — thankfully not loaded — among over 1,600 other weapons.

Gun owners were offered gift cards from Ralphs or Visa, worth $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and $200 for assault weapons.

With weapons like that, practicality is obviously not a concern, noted L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“You’re not hunting ducks with this stuff,” Villaraigosa told the Los Angeles Times. “Too often, these weapons are used to hunt and shoot down people — and that is why we are here today.”

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck reiterated the purpose of the program is to bring in illegal or unwanted guns. He said while he has “no problem” with legal and responsible gun ownership, weapons that fall outside the realm are the most likely to cause problems.

“Your homes are safer without unwanted guns,” Beck said.

What’s your opinion of gun buybacks? 

  • the_new_guy

    What I want to know is, if a pistol, rifle, and shotgun get 100, and a assualt rifle gets 200, what the hell they give him for a rocket launcher

    • Tergeo

      I don't know about you, but I'd give him a high five.

  • Mike T

    It's a shame that some good working guns get turned in and get destoyed. Some I've been told are stolen and don't get returned to the rightful owner. I understand police not wanting criminals to have guns. But I don't believe that criminals are the ones turning in guns for a few dollars.

  • Dustin

    Looks alot like this:

    It's just an inert tube – they sell them as a novelty, probably could have gotten more off of ebay…

  • Earl Chambers

    It is an inert AT4 you can see the markings. What a joke buying an expended tube does nothing. These are mostly stolen weapons and we are rewarding criminals for stealing. Buy a gun safe.

    • quincy

      I belive it gives criminals more of a reason to steal guns being that they get immunity and visa cards when turning them in. Its a legal and legitatamte fence for stolen weapons.

  • Antonio

    The police should re-sell all of the good, working firearms to help pay for this program and lower our taxes. Ha! I broke out laughing as soon as I typed this.

  • Phillip G Thompson

    My opinion of "buyback programs" is

    For it to be a true buyback program the police needed to own these weapons at on time, so they could buy them back or for the companies that manufactures these to buy back them back

    As to the AT-4, Yes that is a real launch tube…my guess is that it is empty, and the yellow band around it means that at one time it was a live round,,,those are never sold to the general public and there is no way of getting on from your local National Guard Armory…if they even have them. and you would never get one off of an Active Duty post..since the tube have to be turned after firing to have be destroyed…it's all part of the accountability of ammunition security, some one, some where is in some serious trouble when they run the tube's serial number to find out where it came from

    • hannibal

      No the yellow band means it is a trainer. It even says "TRAINER" right on the side of the tube. These were never useable rocket launchers. Please do not post if you are going to lie or don't know wtf you are talking about.

      • US Army EOD Tech

        Actually the Yellow band indicates High Explosives, Blue would indicate Trainer or Inert according to US/NATO Military ammunition color code system. If it were to say TRAINER on this one, then it was more then likely fired then saved to be used by the unit to train the soldiers on how to run through all the motions before going up to the firing line to fire a live round.

  • Todd Harris

    Nothing more than a frivolous waste of my hard earned tax dollars. The only people turning guns in during buybacks, are law abiding citizens. Infuriating & profoundly stupid.

  • Christopher Leete

    You can buy inert AT-4 tubes from places like Quartermaster, Cheaper than Dirt. It's perfectly legal to have one.
    As for the other stuff, well no big deal, they make new and better firearms every day. If someone wants to make themselves into unarmed sheeple, that's just natural selection at work. The world is a better place without them.

  • @HoustonGunBlog

    inert rocket launchers, rpgs, etc can easily be purchased by residents of many states in the US. they end up at gun buy-backs because the owner does not know they could easily get more for selling to an Army Surplus store or some Gun Shops, or on the private marketplace. The possibility exists the owner does not wish to publicly claim ownership other than to the authorities for fear of being prosecuted for owning an illegal weapon, even in areas where ownership is considered lawful.

  • @Dan1231

    The AT-4 is actually a recoilless gun (it's not rifled), not a rocket launcher. Being a smoothbore and not containing a live round, I don't see why it wouldn't be legal. I don't think they're re-loadable, at least without sending it back to Bofors.

  • Eng12

    OMG!!!! (-_-) ignorance!!! this is wy all the anti gun politicians want to pass dumb anti gun laws! because they are ingnorant!! that AT-4 has been fired, they are non-reloadable. When i was 8 years old i found a M72-LAW tube by the train tracks, people were flipin out!!! they thought i had a dam anti tank weapon….but even i knew it was inert.

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