Buying Back Guns

Seattle and King County Announce Buyback and Free Trigger Locks

Buying Back Guns

Given the preemptive authority of state and federal law, there's not much that local officials can do to curb gun violence and promote firearm safety. But in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and other tragic shootings locally and nationwide, Seattle-area officials are determined to do whatever they can.

At a January 8 press conference at Seattle's Mount Zion Baptist Church, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn, King County executive Dow Constantine, and a host of government and community leaders announced a new Gun Safety Initiative featuring Seattle's first gun buyback program since 1992 and the distribution of free trigger locks and gun safety information. The initiative will be funded entirely through private donations, including $30,000 from online retailer Amazon and $25,000 from the Seattle Police Foundation.

"This is just one tool in the toolbox" for addressing a broader public health challenge, McGinn emphasized.

"If we can prevent just one child, one innocent bystander, from being the victim of a random accident or the target of an unstable person, it will be well worth our time and effort," added Constantine.

The first gun buyback event will be held on Saturday, January 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot beneath Interstate 5 between Cherry and James Streets. Subsequent events will take place at locations throughout the county.

Modeled on successful programs in Los Angeles and other cities, participants will receive gift cards valued up to $100 for surrendering handguns, rifles, and shotguns, and up to $200 for assault weapons. The no-questions-asked buyback program will be coordinated by the Seattle Police Foundation, a nonprofit that supports local police officers, and the process will be totally anonymous: no pictures will be taken of participants, no license plates will be written down, and no ballistics tests will be conducted on surrendered weapons. Unwanted ammunition will also be collected.

Efforts will be made to return lost or stolen weapons to their rightful owners—the rest will be melted down by Nucor Steel, which is donating its services free of charge.

Critics argue that gun buybacks do little to measurably decrease the total rate of gun violence (though an NRA-sponsored congressional funding ban makes it difficult to study), but even a statistically insignificant impact can be significant to a potential victim. And Kurt Geissel, owner of Seattle's Cafe Racer, where a tragic shooting took place last year, argues that doing anything is better than doing nothing.

"You can do something, even if it's a small thing, whether financially or throwing away some guns or ammo," encourages Geissel. "You never know what might happen." recommended


Comments (20) RSS

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"Modeled on successful programs in Los Angeles"...are you kidding? The Los Angeles buyback showed just how useless these programs are: several news outlets crowed about the 75 "assault weapons" that were collected, and about several actual "rocket launchers" that were also collected.

However, later figures show that only 2 of 75 "assault weapons" were actually that, and the "rocket launchers" were actually the empty tubes once used to launch rockets, but without any of the parts or rockets needed to do so now.

And one study found that such programs are basically ineffective, since the majority of weapons turned in were either irreparable or unusable for some other reason.

It's just a response by politicians by the media to "DO SOMETHING!".
Posted by info4u on January 9, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Amazon gets a tax deduction, some new business, and a little more influence at City Hall. Reducing crime and violence? Silly you, that's no more what this is about than the "progressive" ban on plastic bags is about.

We are "progressives." This is Seattle. It's all about the appearance of being Good.
Posted by Mister G on January 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Mrs Jarvie 3
I now live in Australia, where gun control was made a reality after the Port Arthur massacre in 1986 (35 dead, 23 injured).

That was 26 years ago, and since then Australia has had ONE mass shooting, in 2002, when 2 were killed and 5 were injured.

from Wikipedia:

The federal government coordinated with all states and territories of Australia to ban and heavily restrict the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading and pump-action shotguns, and heavily tightened controls on their legal use. The government initiated a "buy-back" scheme with the owners paid according to a table of valuations. Some 643,000 firearms were handed in at a cost of $350 million which was funded by a temporary increase in the Medicare levy which raised $500 million.
Posted by Mrs Jarvie on January 9, 2013 at 4:09 PM · Report this
These gun buys backs are so stupid! If you are giving up a "assault weapon" right now for $200 you are a moron. If you give them anything better than some crappy throw away guns I will be surprised.These are such a waste of money.
Posted by Casmith245 on January 9, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
There's no "preemptive authority" in federal law regarding guns, unless you are referring to the Second Amendment. In which case, you must be admitting that the Second Amendment does indeed guarantee an individual right to own and carry guns. No?
Posted by dean.fuller on January 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM · Report this
@5 is totally correct, state preemption is quite typical with gun law, including our states ownership prohibition on Title II firearms.
Posted by Wooly Bing Bop on January 9, 2013 at 6:27 PM · Report this
#5, in fact the 2nd does recognize an individual right to keep and bear arms, and to use them in self defense. These rights are subject to regulation but not abrogation.
Posted by Mister G on January 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM · Report this
@GOLDY do you have any more info on the free trigger locks?
Posted by gdcv on January 9, 2013 at 7:01 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 9
Goldy, I am currently selling one of my AKs for $1500. You can put your money where your mouth is and purchase it to keep it off the street.

I would stay away from most trigger locks, they can cause a loaded gun to accidentally discharge, the only safe gun lock is a lock that goes through the action of the firearm.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
Wait... Amazon donates a chunk of cash for this and people are getting gift certificates back? Lemme guess... to

Not much of an incentive anyways. I'd only get up to a 10% return on my assault rifle. Hell, in our current market I could sell at a healthy profit right now.

Wouldn't mind a free trigger lock or two though, heh.
Posted by Proteus013 on January 9, 2013 at 8:50 PM · Report this
#9, don't try to introduce facts to "progressives." They are every last bit as tribal and "faith based" as Sarah Palin ever was. With Seattle's "progressives" it is entirely about appearances, just as, say, in some Baptist church in a suburb of Nashville.
Posted by Mister G on January 9, 2013 at 9:16 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 12

Yea, earlier I was accused of "mansplaining" and being deliberately confusing for the terrible crime of attempting to explain how an mechanical object actually worked.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 9, 2013 at 9:33 PM · Report this
I don't think criminals and psychopaths will be in line surrendering their firearms. Why don't we look at the whole pharma/psychiatric/educational/mass media industrial complex for being the real root cause and not succumb to mindless gestures for posturing purposes.
Posted by liberty4all on January 10, 2013 at 7:45 AM · Report this
#12, the "progressives" don't want to know how guns work. They don't want to even address, let alone, solve any of these issues. Like everything else Seattle's "progressives" do, it's entirely about the awful insecurity than arises when someone realizes, down deep, that they are no smarter, no better, and no more truthful than those they claim to oppose.

When that happens, all of someone's great efforts become focused on the mere appearance of superior intelligence, morality, and ethics. The reality ceases to count, and there are no standards that apply across the board.

That's the tragedy of American politics as we slide toward banana republic status. The Republicans slide toward fascism and nostalgia, and the "progressives" become corrupt Peronists. Our Argentinian future awaits.

Better hang onto your guns. You just might wind up needing 'em for more than plugging a deer or a burglar.
Posted by Mister G on January 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
I think it is great they are trying to do something. For the pro-gun folks, would it change anything if it was your child that was senselessly taken from you? For the folks labelling people, could you please make comments that are more constructive, rather than engaging in the liberal or conservative hate talk that some of the extremist pundits encourage? Let's encourage meaningful thought and dialog. For those with kids (20 and under) are your guns locked up securely? Thanks
Posted by JustAnotherIdiot on January 10, 2013 at 8:19 PM · Report this
@15: Thank YOU for making sense!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 11, 2013 at 3:59 AM · Report this
Did you know Jeff Bezos of "Amazon" has guns all around him? Many CEOs have security details. Just Google "Jeff Bezos security detail" if the link doesn't work.…

Posted by Pluto in Capricorn on January 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
It isn't just pro-gun advocates who think gun buy-backs don't work. The gun control enthusiasts also recognize it doesn't work, and it's not hard to figure out why. Who would turn their expensive guns in for less than 20% of their value? It makes no financial sense.

I shoot far less often than I did 10 years ago. Why is that? Ammo and especially range time is very expensive out here!

Posted by GabrielDiesel on January 11, 2013 at 12:45 PM · Report this
If we could only remove firearms from the following: hardened criminals, the mentally unstable,mafia kingpins, gangs, homicidal maniacs, etc., and yet still honor the right to bear arms for those who are responsible, licensed and registered gun owners who AREN'T dumb enough to leave a cocked and loaded handgun in the front seat of the car, with unsupervised children---any of whom might already have a "fascination with guns".....? Anybody?

Is the main reason that finding a doable solution for enforcing gun control is so difficult because not everybody has the same definition of "responsible, licensed and registered gun owners"?
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
@15 Would I change my stance as pro-gun if MY child were senselessly taken from me?

Yes and no. No, I don't belive I'd turn anti-gun, but it probably would drive me to spend more time at the range, purchase a more tactical loadout and be rather paranoid around strangers.

I have trouble seeing how those who own, operate and understand firearms would give them up in light of this tragedy. Such an occurance is exactly why I strive to be proficient with the arms I have.

This isn't about our ability to go hunt deer. Nobody needs an assault rifle and $3,000 worth of tactical gear to kill Bambi, but it's damn good to have around when it's your family at risk.
Posted by Proteus013 on January 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this

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