Seattle's first gun buyback since 1992 netted 716 weapons, officials announced Monday morning.
The total included 364 rifles, 348 pistols, three Street Sweeper shotguns and a Stinger missile launcher tube—all collected in less than four hours in downtown Seattle on Saturday. Officials offered gift cards worth $100 or $200 in exchange for each firearm.
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Speaking at a news conference Monday, King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn in applauding the buyback's success.
“Hundreds of homes in King County are safer places to live today," Constantine said. “These guns are now out of the home and off the street.”
McGinn offered similar praise and also refuted speculation that the buyback would net only old, unusable guns: “Every weapon we bought was a usable weapon,” he said.
Officials said they issued $68,000 in gift cards—roughly two-thirds of the $118,100 that private donors pledged in financial support. Organizers would like to hold a second event, McGinn said, but they must first secure additional donations.
McGinn also addressed the fact that many individuals at the buyback event were buying and selling firearms among themselves—an observation he said points to the need for a universal background check law at the state or federal level. City police, he said, currently do not have the legal authority to stop private gun sales.
Seattle's last gun buyback took place in 1992 and brought in more than 1,200 guns over four days.