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Gift Cards for Guns: King County Launches New Buyback Program, Pierce County Could Follow

The first anonymous buyback will take place Jan. 26 in downtown Seattle. Pierce County has no plans yet for a similar program, although leaders are considering it.

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.

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.

adam tinker January 08, 2013 at 09:34 PM
ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE IDEA> WHOEVER DOES THIS IS A FOOL. SELL ME YOUR GUNS ILL GIVE YOU $150 EACH or $300 FOR ASSAULT WEAPONS
Jennifer West January 08, 2013 at 10:37 PM
all the while gun shops are selling them so fast they can't keep them on the shelves. A terrible waste of our money. They would be better off to give gun locks away to people, so they could keepp them locked up!
Sharon January 08, 2013 at 10:52 PM
A fine idea for people sitting on unwanted guns Adam. That usually means guns of little value, in poor condition, or perhaps with a bad history. Give people a little credit.

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