Where Did the LA Rocket Launcher Come From?

At best, gun buybacks remove broken ass guns from homes with kids. At worst, they create a black market for stolen firearms, torpedo criminal investigations, waste tens of thousands of police man hours and suck-up hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. That said, the appearance of a rocket launcher at LA’s buyback program is an interesting black swan. Or is it? It’s an inert training tube that could have been purchased at an Army surplus store. What does that tell you about LA’s gun buyback program?


About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

37 Responses to Where Did the LA Rocket Launcher Come From?

  1. It’s also an inert, training tube – it’s marked on the side.

    • avatarMr. Weebles says:

      What he said.

      It was probably picked up in an Army-Navy surplus store.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      D’oh! Text amended. And how.

      • avatarAnonymouse says:

        Oh, that sounds like a great arbitrage opportunity:

        Go to local surplus store, buy inert training tube, drive to buyback program, sell for more $$$, lather, rinse, repeat…

      • avatarDan says:

        Which means that this tells us that the LAPD is functionally illiterate. I always suspected…

  2. avatarMike2588 says:

    Iv’e got a couple airsoft guns lying around from when I was a teenager. You think I could sell them to the LAPD?

  3. avatarThomas Paine says:

    when they start giving $200 for rifles, i bet they’ll have a lot of mosins too.

    • avatarPascal says:

      You don’t have to go that far. I have to plenty of gun shows where I have seen non-working 4″ snubbies for $25. Buy for $25, then sell them back for $100 and pocket the $75. Seems like if a lot of gun owners would do that they would simply shutdown the program eventually.

      • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

        Hmm. A plan which would show the city what an ineffective money pit this program is while at the same time putting cash in my pocket? BRB…

        • avatarKYgunner says:

          The fact that the rocket launcher was inert didn’t stop them from reporting that a rocket launcher was taken in the buy back. They would count the nonfunctioning revolvers into their “guns off the streets” stats to fein validity.

  4. avatarLeftShooter says:

    Hey, that looks like mine! My wife must have sold that in the yard sale. I was saving that for the drones!

    (See QOD below: “First American to Shoot Down a Drone Will Be A Hero.” What Gun for the Job? )

  5. avatarRalph says:

    Walmart sells rocket launchers and machine guns. RPGs are on backorder.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      That’s nothing. My local Wally World is raffling off an M1A1 Abrams. For the children, of course.

      • avatarAharon says:

        Oh yeah? Well my Wallie World can obviously beat up your Wallie World since mine is selling a full Battleship.

    • avatarTom says:

      Well, the rocket launchers are now in the Toy Department. We were thinking of the amusement of the children…

  6. avatarParthenon says:

    Idea: design a simple cheap gun that can be manufactured for less then $50.
    Sell thousands of the things every time one of these event come along.

  7. avatarMike S says:

    I’m gonna try not to think too hard about the fact that this guy held an inert training tube up in front of the media and wasn’t laughed at.

    Good thing LA already has tanks, or they’d be using this as a predicate! Oh wait…..

  8. avatarClark says:

    Same stupid thing more or less happened at an Orlando gun buyback a few years ago when a guy brought in a transport case for an anti-air missile. Except there the cheapskate police department only offered $50 per gun OR a pair of Reeboks.


  9. avatarJwhite says:

    YEah I called it a few days ago. Every time they do one of these some oddball weapon shows up. AK-47 with a HUUUUUGE CMag, or in this case a “Rocket Launcher”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they bought it at a surplus store, tossed it in with the rest of the Mosin Nagants, and said “Oh look what we have here…”

    OR… the other just as likely scenario…

    Hey Joe, I got an idea… lets go to the surplus store, buy that rocket launcher tube for $50, and turn it in for $200 at that LAPD gun buyback shindig.

    That’s a cool $50-$150… $100 if they bought it for $100 at the surplus store.

    ‘Oh my Abigale, did you see what turned up in LAPD’s gun buy back? a rocket launcher! Can you believe it? Oh my god I never new the streets could be so dangerous, thank god for the LAPD”

    Hopefully only a few more days until I stop acting like a grump… Quitting smoking is no joke.

  10. avatarmatt says:

    Chicago offers $10 for BB guns, I’ve always wondered what kind of pricing I could get from the Chinese if I wanted to buy 10k airsoft guns.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Just pull a U-Haul up to the buyback and open it up – “To save you boys time, I counted in advance. There’s 50,000 guns in there….so at $100 a pop, that’s $5 million you owe me!”

  11. avatarABN-MP says:

    Chief you are one Dumb@## … It’s plain to see you went into Civilian LE because you couldn’t pass the ASVAB

  12. avatarSilver says:

    I love how he’s holding it up like, “Yeah, see what we have here? Told ya.”

    What a moron. Too bad 99 percent of the people looking at this have no idea.

  13. avatarMike S says:

    Quick! Close the inert trainer loophole!

  14. avatarmartin albright says:

    I have a piece of PVC pipe in my garage that is about as much of a “weapon” as that inert AT-4 (or RAAW or whatever it is.)

  15. avatarTom says:

    Hey, look at me…I am a stupid moron holding this inert rocket launcher like its the real deal.

  16. avatarHSR47 says:

    If only it was an old M72 instead of an AT4; then we could joke about how he decided to take the LAW into his own hands at that press conference…

  17. avatarAharon says:

    If I brought a stuffed toy dinosaur to the LA buy back program and told them it is real would they believe it?

  18. avatarAharon says:

    Hey LAPD, this my rocket launcher and this is my gun. This one is to make money off you and this one is for fun.

  19. avatarCharlie says:

    It looks like an AT4 tube.

    You used to be able to get M72LAW tubes from the army surplus guys for cheap. Wish I’d got, cause they make great dust collectors.


  20. avatarDex says:

    OMG OMG!!! somebody pass a law! OMG

  21. avatarJacob says:

    LA buys something that’s not a gun in a gun buyback. Priceless.

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