Gun buyback in downtown Seattle draws big crowd

Gun buyback in downtown Seattle draws big crowd

Credit: Natalie Swaby / KING

Gun buyback in downtown Seattle draws big crowd

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by KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on January 26, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Hundreds of people showed up Saturday morning for a gun buyback in Seattle.

The event was supposed to go until 3 p.m., but the even drew such a big crowd, police wrapped up by noon.

Police said in the first two hours, more than 160 guns were turned in and $35,000 in gift cards were handed out. Someone even brought in an RPG launcher.

But some people were not turning guns in, rather they were offering cash to people who brought guns to the buyback. Some are even offered free doughnuts as they attempted to buy guns on the street.

The buyback program is part of the effort Seattle and King County leaders are making reduce gun violence. Seattle hadn't paid people for their guns since the 1990s.

Participants were advised that they need not worry about being accused. Police said they wouldn't take photos or record license plates.

No ballistics tests will be conducted on the weapons, but the department planned to check to see if the guns were stolen and return those to the owners. 

The program is funded by donations from Amazon of $30,000, the Seattle Police Foundation of $25,000, and local businesses including Pemco totaling more than $70,000.

Handguns, rifles and shotguns were worth a $100 gift card. Guns classified as assault weapons were worth $200.

Guns classified as assault weapons were worth $200 (more details on the SPD blotter). Participants also could turn in unwanted ammunition and fireworks.

Amazon kicked in $30,000 to start the program announced Tuesday by Mayor Mike McGinn and other city leaders to reduce firearms in the community.

The guns become property of the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Police Department reports the guns will be used as rebar in local construction projects.

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