From the L.A. Daily News
Los Angeles to host its 4th annual Mother's Day gun buyback program on Saturday
by Rick Orlov
Los Angeles hosts its fourth annual Mother's Day gun buyback program Saturday as part of its continuing effort to get guns off the street.
With $200,000 raised privately through Ralphs markets, the Los Angeles Police Department will be at six locations around the city to provide gift cards of $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles and $200 for assault weapons.
"Even though the city is safer than at any time since 1952, we need to remain vigilant in our effort to get guns off the street," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a City Hall news conference Friday.
"I know only too well the problems of gun violence. My phone rings constantly telling me of an incident around the city."
Police Chief Charlie Beck said the gun buyback is part of an overall strategy to reduce violence and that more than 6,000 weapons have been purchased in the first three years of the program.
"The only limitation is the money we have available," Beck said. "Every year, we have to turn people away because we are out of the gift cards."
Beck said the public is asked to put the weapons, without ammunition, into the trunks of their cars and officers will inspect them to make sure they are operable.
The LAPD runs each weapon to determine if they are stolen. Those that are not are shredded with the metal melted down and used to create artwork.
Bruce Boyer, a pro-gun activist in the San Fernando Valley with a group called Sons of Liberty, is hoping to disrupt the buyback. He is urging supporters to show up at the events and either offer to buy the guns from people in line, or get into line themselves and haggle with the organizers in order to slow down the overall process.
"This is a fraud," Boyer said. "If people really have any weapons of value, they would be better off selling it legally. All this does is take weapons whose only real value is being a doorstop."
The buyback will be in operation from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the following locations:
Facey Medical Center parking lot, 11165 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills; LAFD Fire Academy, 7100 Stadium Way, Los Angeles; Korean Evangelical Zion Church, 2149 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles; Park and Ride Parking Lot, 1300 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Wilmington; Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7900 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, and Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church, 10435 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles.
From Google News
Trayvon Martin gun range targets sold online
Seller admits he wants to profit off controversy
by Mike DeForest
ORLANDO, Fla. -
An unidentified entrepreneur admits he is trying to profit off Trayvon Martin's death by selling gun range targets featuring the teen who's death has sparked a nationwide controversy.
Although Martin's face does not appear on the paper targets, they feature a hoodie with crosshairs aimed at the chest. A bag of Skittles is tucked in the pocket and a hand is holding a can resembling iced tea.
Martin purchased both items minutes before he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February, according to police.
Zimmerman, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges, originally told investigators he shot Martin in self-defense.
According to an advertisement for the targets that had been posted on a popular firearms auction website, the sellers stated they "support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug."
That online ad has since been removed.
"This is the highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility," said Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara.
O'Mara said he is worried about how Martin's parents will react to the image of their son on a target intended to be used for shooting practice.
The attorney is also concerned the targets will further inflame the community.
"It's this type of hatred -- that's what this is, it's hate-mongering -- that's going to make it more difficult to try this case," said O'Mara.
Local 6 has been unable to determine the identity of the seller, who had also set up a website to sell the gun range targets.
In an email exchange with reporter Mike DeForest, the seller wrote, "My main motivation was to make money off the controversy."
The seller would not disclose how many paper targets had been made, but said in an email, "The response is overwhelming. I sold out in 2 days."
Some of those targets were sold to two Florida gun dealers, according to the seller.
Before DeForest identified himself as a reporter, the seller claimed that targets were still available for purchase. After being informed Local 6 was investigating his online business, the seller claimed the targets would no longer be sold.
Firearm owners are buzzing about the Trayvon Martin targets on several gun enthusiast websites.
Very few have shown interest in purchasing the targets. Most have expressed disgust.
"Even though I fully believe Zimmerman was justified in shooting, Trayvon was still a human being and does not deserve that kind of disrespect in death," wrote one firearm owners association website member.
Attorney for the Martin family Natale Jackson said the family also believes the target is "disgusting."
"It's a sad certain segment of our society that would think you could make a profit off the killing of a teenage boy," Jackson said.
The online advertisements for the targets have been taken down as of Friday.
Secure Communities Activated in New York, Despite Objections
New York – The New York City Police Department, along with other local police departments across the state, will activate the controversial federal Secure Communities program next week, despite objections from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials.
New York City joins the state's Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties in implementing the program, which feeds fingerprint information from local police departments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the FBI.
Gov. Cuomo withdrew New York from the program last June, saying that it failed to meet its goal to “deport serious felons.”
However despite initially characterizing the program as voluntary, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said last year that states could not opt-out of the program and that it must be implemented across the country by 2013.
I am deeply troubled by and have always opposed the implementation of Secure Communities in New York City.
- New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
“Secure Communities has proven to be the single most valuable tool in allowing the agency to eliminate the ad hoc approach of the past and focus on criminal aliens and repeat immigration law violators,” an ICE spokesman said in a statement.
Both public officials and immigration rights activists have criticized the program and expressed disappointment in its implementation countrywide.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that it will harm too many people charged with low-level offenses and make immigrants hesitant to cooperate with police or report crimes.
“I am deeply troubled by and have always opposed the implementation of Secure Communities in New York City,” said Quinn. “I do not want this implemented and I oppose any government move to force New York City to abide by this unfair policy.”
ICE states that the Secure Communities program has removed over 135,000 convicted criminal aliens including over 49,000 convicted of major violent offenses like murder, rape and child abuse.
Immigration rights activists also argue that the program disproportionately targets Latinos, giving rise to both ethnic and racial profiling among law enforcement agencies.
“We now know that Latinos are disproportionately arrested by ICE through Secure Communities, the program has an adverse impact on community policing, and states and localities around the country do not want it in their communities,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition in a statement. “And yet the criticism goes unheeded by the administration. Simply put, the President and Secretary Napolitano must stop the rapid rollout of this fatally flawed program."
Along with New York, Secure Communities will also be activated in Massachusetts, Wyoming and Arkansas next week.