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?


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

    1. avatar Mr. Weebles says:

      What he said.

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

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      D’oh! Text amended. And how.

      1. avatar Anonymouse 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…

      2. avatar Dan says:

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

  2. avatar Mike2588 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. avatar Thomas Paine says:

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

    1. avatar Pascal 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.

      1. avatar Moonshine7102 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…

        1. avatar KYgunner 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. avatar LeftShooter 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? )

    1. avatar virtualjohn says:


  5. avatar Ralph says:

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

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

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

      1. avatar Aharon says:

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

    2. avatar Tom says:

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

  6. avatar Parthenon 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. avatar Mike 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. avatar Clark 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. avatar Jwhite 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.

    1. avatar Mike S says:

      Stay with it, man! Believe me I know how hard it is, but it’s worth it.

  10. avatar matt 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.

    1. avatar Totenglocke 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. avatar ABN-MP says:

    Chief you are one [email protected]## … It’s plain to see you went into Civilian LE because you couldn’t pass the ASVAB

  12. avatar Silver 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. avatar Mike S says:

    Quick! Close the inert trainer loophole!

  14. avatar martin 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.)

    1. avatar CGinChicago says:

      Paint it green, wait for next buy back program.

  15. avatar Tom says:

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

  16. avatar HSR47 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…

    1. avatar HAVE GUN says:

      Sir, you are without shame.

  17. avatar Aharon 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. avatar Aharon 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.

    1. avatar george says:

      I will go to sleep tonight still laughing at that one.

  19. avatar Charlie 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. avatar Dex says:

    OMG OMG!!! somebody pass a law! OMG

  21. avatar Jacob says:

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

  22. avatar Jeremy in AL says:

    I wonder if they would take 3d printed guns? You could churn them out, they don’t even need to work!

  23. avatar Fracsid says:

    I hate to be that guy, but if that’s the “trainer” I’m thinking of, it is technically a 9mm carbine. The military uses these 9mm trainer launchers with 9mm tracers that are ballistically matched to the rockets because they’re too cheap to use real rockets a lot of the time.

    Still absolutely media hyperbole to call it a rocket launcher by any means.

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