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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:12 PM

Seattle Gun Buyback Exceeds Expectations, Blows Through $118,000 in Under Three Hours [View all]

Source: The Stranger

A line of cars, trunks filled with unwanted weapons, still extended for several blocks up James Street when police officers started turning vehicles away shortly before noon. Demand for Seattle's first gun buyback program in two decades had far exceeded demand, blowing through its $118,000 in contributions halfway through what was supposed to be a six-hour event.

Among the hundreds of handguns, shotguns, rifles, and assault weapons collected today was a shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile launcher and three "Street Sweepers": 12-gauge 12-round semiautomatic shotguns specifically designed for combat and riot control. "'Street Sweeper' says it all," an uncharacteristically tongue-tied Mayor Mike McGinn said about the weapons.

"It's a little surreal," Seattle Police Foundation president Renée Hopkins said surveying the bins of surrendered weapons and the long line of citizens waiting to voluntarily hand over their arms. The foundation is administrating the gun buyback program, and contributed $25,000 toward funding the event. Hopkins says today's turnout "exceeded expectations," and she's looking forward to getting back to work raising money to fund upcoming buyback events at locations throughout the county.

... But by 11:30 am, two and half hours into what was supposed to be a six-hour event, it became apparent that at $100 per handgun, rifle, and shotgun, and $200 per assault weapon, the demand would quickly outstrip the $80,000 worth of gift cards on hand. The decision was made to close the line to newcomers and provide IOUs when the gift cards ran out, up to the total $118,000 in private donations the buyback program had alreay raised. A lot of unwanted-gun owners went home disappointed, yet few took advantage of the dozens of private gun buyers who had lined the streets, hoping to purchase weapons on the cheap. And that, perhaps, was the most remarkable aspect of today's event.

Read more: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/01/26/seattle-gun-buyback-exceeds-expectations-blows-through-118000-in-under-three-hours

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Reply Seattle Gun Buyback Exceeds Expectations, Blows Through $118,000 in Under Three Hours [View all]
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