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Gift Cards for Guns: Seattle, King County Launch New Buyback Program

The first anonymous buyback will take place Jan. 26 in downtown Seattle.

King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn Tuesday in announcing a new buyback program that will allow gun owners to exchange firearms for gift cards to Amazon.com and other vendors.

Speaking at a Seattle press conference, Constantine noted that King County has not been immune to high-profile incidents of gun violence. In May, four people—including a Bellevue woman—were killed in a shooting rampage that began at a Seattle coffee shop.

“As we keep all those families in our hearts, taking guns off the street is a concrete action we can take now,” Constantine said.

Do you think gun buybacks are an effective way to combat gun violence? Tell us in the comments section.

The first buyback will take place underneath I-5 between James and Cherry streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 26. Officials say the process will be completely anonymous.

People will be able to trade in handguns, shotguns and rifles for $100 gift cards and state-classified assault weapons for $200. Amazon is donating $30,000 in gift cards to the program, McGinn said. (More information can be found on the Seattle Police Department's website.)

The Jan. 26 event is just the beginning, McGinn said, and officials are looking for additional organizations to provide financial incentives for future buybacks.

“We would like to make this a sustainable program,” he said.

The last Seattle gun buyback program took place in 1992.

Ernest Cordova January 08, 2013 at 08:09 PM
I don't believe that the Giftcard for guns Idea is going to get that many useable guns off the street. The Criminals and legal gun owners will give you their trashed weapons in exchange for gift cards. Criminals will use their perfectly operating guns for mayhem and Murder. While the legal gun owners for will use theirs for personal protection and defense against a tyrannical Government. Which I believe is what the intention of the 2nd Amendment really is about. Not for hunting that is another element of legal gun ownership.
dexterjibs January 08, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Hooray! I feel safer now. I bet it will work just as well as it did back in the 90's when liberals introduced this idiocy. You gotta give liberals an "A" for effort, though. Their ideas fail and fail again but they just keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Brian Niederer January 08, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Hey!!! Isn't anybody going to address the real problem here? The problem is the quality and availability of mental health services. It's not just the people that go on a rampage who need help. There are so many more who suffer every day. You can take all the guns you want but when somebody goes crazy, they can always find a weapon. Check this out - http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/112993/
MRBill January 09, 2013 at 05:54 AM
Another feel good liberal waste of time and money.
Jason F. January 09, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Hahahah
Jason F. January 09, 2013 at 11:28 AM
What a waste of time and money...who is paying for those gift cards? What criminal ever donated their weapon in exchange for a gift card? Nobody...that's who.
Lena Heiner January 09, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Well, this is ridiculous. No legitimate gun owner is going to exchange their guns for $100. It may potentially get crappy guns that don't work from people who don't have them legally. But, I doubt even that. This is just a waste of money and resources.
Phillip January 09, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Buy backs are a feel good band-aid (on a gaping wound) that politicians use to make themselves feel better about not doing their jobs. Tough in all fairness I don't know how much power Mr. Constantine has to actually improve the system. Probably not much.
Bob McCoy January 09, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Hahaha. It's amazing how 'conservatives' keep complaining about liberals over and over again, expecting different results.
Dustin January 09, 2013 at 05:23 PM
can we buy these used guns somewhere then?
Oriana Hammerstrom January 09, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Exactly what I've been thinking! A psychiatric drug buy back would make more sense.
Caitlin Moran January 09, 2013 at 06:54 PM
I'm guessing your comment was mostly in jest, Dustin, but if anyone's genuinely curious, the answer is no. They're going to be melting them down.
Curtis January 09, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Don't drive all the way to Seattle. I'll give you $100 and save you the gas for your gun.
Mary Hatfield January 09, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Buy backs achieve two agendas: 1) they are PR campaigns to show the public that the police are "doing all they can" to protect us (ahem) and 2) preparing the general populace for the upcoming mandatory surrender and confiscation of all guns and other weapons. The second amendment (right to bear arms) is more about protecting ourselves against a hostile and unconstitutional government takeover (it has already happened via the patriot act and military commissions act) than about protecting hunter's and sportsmens' rights.
Ken James January 09, 2013 at 09:55 PM
So if the various efforts to buy back guns and restrict guns was successful, what will those who are bent on mass murder do? What they have done in the past is to select a different weapon; a gallon of gas, a knife or sword, explosives of various kinds, poisons, a large vehicle, etc, etc. Will we then endeavor to remove/restrict those 'weapons' too? We know that this is a 'people' problem, not a 'weapons' problem. We don't have the will to institutionalize the mentally ill so we leave them in the community to be 'fair' to them.
Caitlin Moran January 09, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Actually, the Seattle PD just released some very detailed info about what happens to the guns: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2013/01/09/fahrenheit-3100-the-temperature-at-which-guns-burn/
Jason F. January 11, 2013 at 10:24 AM
Can they melt them down and make new guns? I want to buy the new guns forged from old guns! Cool!
georgef January 11, 2013 at 07:12 PM
You can always show up nearby and offer a higher price. However, since this is an "anonymous" buyback program, and only offering $200, any gun of any value to a responsible owner will not be there. What will be there are stolen guns, guns already used in a crime, and broken guns. None of which you really want anyway.
georgef January 11, 2013 at 07:18 PM
England is already talking (since 2005) about banning kitchen knives since they have been used in so many crimes after guns were banned. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7508404.stm
Judy Derpack January 12, 2013 at 03:45 AM
Yet, you give no viable alternative solutions, Dexter. Typical. What do you propose, then?
dexterjibs January 12, 2013 at 05:43 AM
Good point, Judy. Just because I don't mention an alternative means we should continue with a dumb arse program like this. How about we double the money we are putting into this idiocy and that way we feel twice as good. Lets just do something, ANYTHING! That way we can pat ourselves on the back when the next mass shooting occurs.

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