Los Angeles police expected to receiveÂ hundreds if not thousands of handguns, rifles and shotguns when they held theirÂ gun buyback on Wednesday.
But even hardened officers were surprised twoÂ rocket launchers were handed in by the city’s residents.
The hefty weapons were among nearly 2,000Â guns given up to police in exchange for $100 and $200 grocery store giftÂ cards.
According to Gawker, theÂ LAPD received 901 handguns, 698 rifles and 363 shotguns in the program, as wellÂ as the two rocket launchers.
However, Gawker quoted a police source asÂ saying that the guns were not that unusual, and that ‘we’ve had them in theÂ past.’
According to police, such weapons areÂ generally antiques picked up by collectors or passed down by familyÂ members.
The Los Angeles buyback program was aimed atÂ getting weapons off the streets in the wake of the devastatingÂ shooting atÂ Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, onÂ December 14.
Lines of cars and people stretched around theÂ block in the first hours of the exchange on Wednesday morning to take advantageÂ of the guns-for-groceries deal.
Police officers filled bins with a variety ofÂ rifles and handguns outside the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the VanÂ Nuys Masonic Temple.
Police reported netting nearly 500Â fire armsÂ and 31 assault weapons between both LA locations in the firstÂ few hours of theÂ buyback.
‘No ID checks, we’re not taking down licenseÂ plates, people drive up, theyÂ have a gun in their trunk, we have one of our gunÂ experts take that gunÂ out, make sure it’s safe, they walk over, get a giftÂ card, and away they go,’ Police CmdrÂ Andrew Smith told CBS LosÂ Angeles on Wednesday.
‘It’s very quick and painless.’
Handguns, rifles and shotguns were swappedÂ for $100 Ralphs grocery store gift cards while assault weapons earned a $200Â card.
Officials were mindful of both theÂ NewtownÂ massacre, in which Adam Lanza, 20, shot dead his mother thenÂ stormed anÂ elementary school, killing 20 students and six staff in aÂ barrage ofÂ bullets.
They were also thinking of a gunman’s ambushÂ that killed two firefighters in Webster, N.Y. on Christmas Eve.
‘All of us are still mourning theÂ tragedy atÂ Newtown, Connecticut,’ said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
‘SoÂ many young innocent children wereÂ mass-murdered in the way that theyÂ were, and now the assassination of twoÂ firefighters … just breaks theÂ heart of so many of us, particularly in thisÂ holiday season.’
TheÂ program was originally scheduled for May but in the wake of the December 14thÂ shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary, Mr Villaraigosa decided to do itÂ now.
The last buyback program netted about 1,700Â guns.
Since the program’s creation in 2009, thereÂ has been a 39 per cent drop in gang crimes and 22 per cent drop in callsÂ reporting shots being fired according to police.
Los Angeles resident Commorah Fisher said sheÂ participated in the program to ensure her weapons didn’t get into the wrongÂ hands.