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.
Patch checked in with Pierce County spokesman Hunter George to see if the South Sound will start a similar program anytime soon.
"There are no plans for one in Pierce County at this time, though County Executive Pat McCarthy said she plans to talk to Dow Constantine and find out more," said George.
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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.