A one-day gun buyback event in Los Angeles on Wednesday gathered 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons and two rocket launchers, officials said.
A friend who is in a position to know (Army 11B) has informed me that the "rocket launcher" the cop is holding is the tube from an AT-4 antitank rocket. The AT-4 is a single-use system-- once the rocket is launched, the launching tube itself is useless and is tossed away.
In other words, that tube the cop is holding is about as deadly as an empty 2-liter soda bottle, and is arguably less useful. As far as Federal law goes, I believe that an AT-4 tube is considered to be as lethal as a similarly-sized length of PVC pipe.
But hey, it was a weapon, once. And that's good enough for the idiots at the LAPD and the imbeciles in the press.
UPDATE: That launcher was a training simulator. In other words, it was never a weapon and it always was as deadly as what it is: A tricked-out piece of plastic sewer pipe.