Update: Seattle Gun Buyback Nets 716 Weapons

Officials are looking for more donations to offer a second buyback.

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.

Do you think gun buybacks are a good idea? Tell us in the comments section.

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.


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Ken Urman, Real Estate Broker January 28, 2013 at 10:08 PM
After considering all the pros and cons I feel the buy back is a good idea. Most of the guns collected may not be a threat to the public, however any gun that is uncared for, stolen or falls into the wrong hands could become a threat. In any case, a few less guns in circulation is not a bad idea.
Clay Kemper January 28, 2013 at 11:13 PM
This is strictly a feel-good gesture with NO verifiable positive results in reducing gun violence. Offering $5 per pack for people to turn in their cigarettes would achieve similar results in reducing lung cancer.
Klondiko January 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM
I wonder how many guns are sold in the Seattle and Tacoma area in a week? Just curious.
Reality Check January 29, 2013 at 12:27 AM
“Hundreds of homes in King County are safer places to live today," Constantine said. Really? That's how it works? http://www.conservativecartoons.com/1999/perfect.gif
Jeff Treadwell January 29, 2013 at 04:02 AM
“Hundreds of homes in King County are safer places to live today," Constantine said. Really!, safer for who. The person breaking down your door steeling from you? Okay, really dramatic i know, but this subject drives me crazy. This country was faught for by people who owned their own firearms. "The Milicia", you brought your own weapon to the party. Our forfathers are turning in their graves right now. Lets have Obahma turn in all the weapons from his house, "the white house" and see how long this grand idea lasts..... Jeffrey Rogers Hummel: "The militia system was originally transplanted to the American colonies from England.4 At the outset, it was grounded in the principle of universal obligation. Practices differed widely from colony to colony, but everywhere the militia had two coercive elements. First, it enrolled every able-bodied male between certain ages (usually sixteen to sixty), with only a few exemptions. Colonial governments required those enrolled to furnish their own arms". It is my moral obligation to retain all firearms in my posetion and use them for the protection of this country.
Publius January 29, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Can someone explain the gap here: <i>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.</i> So what happened to 50K of the donations? I think this speaks to the City of Seattle's management acumen. These clowns can't even handout gift cards without 50% coming up missing. If I had donated money (not that I would for such a worthless exercise) I'd be looking for some explanation tout suite.
Thomas Liberty January 29, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Ahhhhhh.... the unintended consequences of feel-good "solutions" :)
Lise Quinn January 29, 2013 at 08:08 PM
All guns start off as legal guns. They become illegal through various means. If there were no legal guns, they couldn't become illegal. Ban sales, manufacture and import. Make it a felony possession with a ridiculous sentence like 5 years for simple possession. What you say? That didn't work with drugs? Now you are getting to the heart of the matter - like drug addiction, gun addiction is hard to kick. But it can be done.
Pauline January 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM
I found that sentence a little confusing too! I think what it means, though, is that private donors PLEDGED $118,100, meaning the companies that gave the gift cards said they'd give UP TO that amount. The the SPD only ended up giving away $68K worth. So in other words, they had up to $118K that they could have given out but only needed $68K in the end. At least that's how I read it. Like, Walmart says "we'll pledge to give you up to $30K in gift cards" but then they only needed $26K (just an example, I have no idea what the actual amounts are or even if they were Walmart gift cards).
Pauline January 29, 2013 at 11:00 PM
stealing fought militia forefathers let's Obama White House possession Sorry, really dramatic I know, but hey, different things drive different people crazy. At the very least, if you're so rah-rah for this country and its history you should try to spell the President's name correctly.
MSGLAIGAIE January 30, 2013 at 04:49 PM
So, 716 collected and four were stolen. Lets see that would be a percentage of .00558 were stolen. Will they go back to the owner? I was there and I was looking at the weapons going in. Broken, rusted solid shotguns, bb pistols and the mayor lied when he said they were all working guns. Only working if you used them as hammers.
MSGLAIGAIE January 30, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I was at the "buy back" that macgrimm put on last weekend. People were showing evidence of background checks as buyers of weapons. They would show Concealed Pistol Licenses, evidence of a State AND fedreal background check. I also had my Federal Firearms Licence (again BG check required). As a buyer I got to see quite a few of the weapons going in to be crushed. Most were solid rust, missing major pieces or just flat unrepairable. So, mayor, you LIED when you said they were all "working" weapons. Yes working if you use them as hammers.
MSGLAIGAIE January 30, 2013 at 04:59 PM
I saw no gangbangers or criminals showing up to trade weapons for walmart cards
MSGLAIGAIE January 30, 2013 at 05:55 PM
The gun can never be illegal. The USE of the weapon may be illegal, but never an inanimate object.
Joe M January 30, 2013 at 09:43 PM
MSGLAIGAIE, the possession or manufacture of a particular type of gun may be illegal. (The Second Amendment allows for that.) In that case, I think it is a useful and correct shorthand to say the gun is illegal. Of course that disproves Lise's statement that "All guns start off as legal guns."
Elaine Biggerstaff January 30, 2013 at 10:54 PM
All those who turned in their guns left the message that they don't care about reserving their constitutional right and they don't care about the underlying issues that surround gun violence. They seem to believe in a quick fix that isn't fixing anything at all. To me, these people are just as dangerous as the shooters because they would rather give up liberty for a false sense of safety and lazily allow emotion to rule their acts. This is a good road to the day when they will have neither liberty nor safety.
NRA & HOG guy January 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM
klondiko: the number you seek is from the FBI NICS: in the US Nov. 2012 background checks to legally purchase firearms was 2.01 million Dec. 2012 background checks to legally purchase firearms was 2.78 million NICS FBI legal background checks for firearms for 2102 in the US was 19.8 million. It's currently un-know exactly how many gun laws are on the books, both Federal and all state laws, but estimates are in the several hundreds, and most are not enforced. Gun shows in the Puget Sound area are very strict, put up with no, non-sense and have a zero tolerance for not following all safety rules while attending the gun show I don't believe figures are available for each city, since NICS is FBI controlled at the Federal level. Hope this helps
Margaret Santjer February 02, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Folks, thanks for the comments. Here's a reminder to please refrain from using profanity.


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