Update: City’s gun ‘buyback’ downtown drew crowd

8:59 AM: Today’s the day for the city’s first gun “buyback” – an invitation to citizens to turn over unwanted/unneeded firearms in exchange for compensation – in 20-plus years. It’s happening 9 am to 3 pm in a parking lot at 600 7th Avenue downtown [map], but could end earlier if they run out of the gift cards that are being offered. They’re also offering gift cards for “high-capacity magazines,” but only if turned in along with the weapon for which they were procured. The full FAQ about today’s event is here on the website of the Seattle Police Foundation. Among the sponsors/donors enabling today’s event is West Seattle’s Nucor, where the city says the guns will be melted down, to be turned into rebar.

3:27 PM: Big turnout, says SPD, though no total will be made public till a mayoral news briefing Monday.

12 Replies to "Update: City's gun 'buyback' downtown drew crowd"

  • Chris January 26, 2013 (1:40 pm)

    And this is going to positively effect gun violence how ?

  • Anonymous January 26, 2013 (1:58 pm)

    The gun buyback was an epic fail! I went down at 10:45. It was impossible to drive within 3 blocks of the venue. It looked to me like the lines were at least a 4 hour wait. I turned around and gave up. Whoever planned it did a terrible job and underestimated the number of attendees and the overestimated the capacity of the venue.

    I wanted to get rid of an old shotgun I had inherited. So when I dug the gun out of the depths of my deep closet stash my kids saw it and I think my neighbor saw me load it up in the car. Now the gun is more problematic than prior to the event as curious kids may go looking for it. Of course it is unloaded, but I am wondering if all the people like me who did not want to spend all day trying to get rid of their guns will have a similar experience. The removed the guns from storage and had to carry them around town trying to get rid of them. Now they have to handle them again to store them.

  • G January 26, 2013 (3:04 pm)

    Fine, but let’s make sure the rest of us continue to have the right to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

    • WSB January 26, 2013 (3:26 pm)

      At any time – before this or after this – anyone who wants to get rid of an unwanted gun safely can do so at any Seattle Police precinct – though I’d advise calling first since they don’t have round-the-clock desk clerks (officers are dispatched from central 911, not from precincts). That’s according to an SPD tweet replying to someone who asked the question – TR

  • Jody Rodgers January 26, 2013 (3:45 pm)

    Thanks West Seattle Blog for promoting this event!

  • West Seattle Hipster January 26, 2013 (3:54 pm)

    4 hour wait? Thats sounds like a lot of guns are off the street. So many times you read stories of kids finding guns in closets and using them on each other, events like these help prevent such tragedies from happening.

    Can’t wait for Mayor Burgess to have more of these once he is elected.

  • Smitty January 26, 2013 (4:33 pm)

    Sounds like a great opportunity for people to purchase guns on the cheap.

    Lots of people offering people in line more for their guns than the government vouchers were worth.

    Epic fail.

  • JimmyG January 26, 2013 (5:21 pm)

    anonymous, call the police and tell them you have a weapon you want to turn in for disposal.
    They will take it and destroy it. Granted you won’t get a gift card, but people turn in guns they don’t want to the police all the time, it’s quite common.
    They will write a report and give you a case number and it will be out of your house and away from your kids.

  • chuck morgan January 26, 2013 (8:27 pm)

    Educate your children about guns instead of making them fear them.

    Practice safe storage in a locked cabinet.

    get rid of it if you want to but don’t impinge on my constituional rights to own my weapons.

  • Guy January 26, 2013 (9:43 pm)

    Epic fail? It’s better than nothing!!!!!!

  • Mike January 27, 2013 (11:17 am)

    I can see both sides of this event being good and bad.
    Good that people who don’t want those guns to get rid of them properly without having to sell them to an unknown buyer or if they just want to make sure they’re disposed of properly.
    Bad that anyone can legally walk up and offer cash to anyone waiting in line and walk off with a gun. That’s the part that shows how laxed our gun laws really are. There were numerous people buying and selling to unknown buyers right in line while waiting and it’s all 100% legal.
    So, one part helps prevent criminals from getting their hands on guns easier, the other part made it easier for criminals to walk up and offer a small amount of cash for firearms or for people who will not properly store a firearm to buy one on the street then have it stolen later to be used in crime.
    Until we change the laws to be more restrictive on gun sales and gun owners to be held responsible for not properly locking guns away that are used in crimes, these events will have some positive effects and some negative effects.

  • Tuesday January 27, 2013 (7:48 pm)

    Again, a ridiculous grab at political exposure. Look at me! Look at me! I care enough melt guns down from people that will never do anything but handle them responsibly. Well done, establishment.

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