Governor wants to “terminate” violence, guns

By Daniel Tedford, San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer
Posted: 03/26/2009 02:18:27 PM PDT

MONTEREY PARK – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled plans Thursday to give more than $9 million – including $1 million to Los Angeles County – for gang prevention efforts.

The announcement was made at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s headquarters at the opening ceremony for this year’s round of “Gifts for Guns.”

“Every time a weapon is surrendered, every time a gun is taken off the street, neighborhoods are safer,” said Schwarzenegger. “The guns will be melted and used for something more positive. I think that was also the theme for Terminator Two. The Terminator let himself down into the molt and he gets melted and he kind of wants to terminate himself in order to stop the violence.”

The department has collected more than 3,000 guns since the program began in 2005. The firearms can be exchanged anonymously at collection events for $200, when turning in an blankault weapon, and $100 for handguns and rifles.

The Governor added an incentive to this year’s program, offering a free “Terminate the Violence” t-shirt for those who turn in weapons.

There will be 28 collection events over the next two months. The first three collection events start this weekend, while one in Rowland Heights is scheduled to take place April 3 and 4.

“The key to the point is this: in 2008, 750 firearms were stolen from (our) jurisdictions,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. “What we have found is gun related crimes are committed with stolen guns. The key here is to take guns away from those who have decided guns are no longer necessary for themselves.”

The Governor also announced the funds for the $9 million in competitive grants will be distributed among 17 cities and 13 community-based organizations.

Los Angeles County was awarded $1,602,000, with the bulk of that money, $962,000 going to the city of Los Angeles.

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