Gun buyback draws rival offers

buybackSEATTLE — When it was all over, there were dozens of guns in garbage cans — rifles tossed out like refuse.

Seattle police were happy to see the unwanted weapons off the streets at the city’s first gun buyback event in 20 years.

“It just shows that people are very concerned about having weapons in their home and they’ve made the decision to turn them in,” Police Chief John Diaz said.

But outside the event existed a circus-like atmosphere — complete with a gun-crazed gorilla wanting to buy “banana clips,” a particular style of magazine known for holding dozens of rounds.

There were also gun enthusiasts hoping to make a great find and score a one-of-a-kind firearm for a cheap price.

“You’ve got guns that are antiques. A lot of these guns are going to disappear,” said a man who only wanted to be identified as Clint. He drove from Graham to offer cash as an alternative to those looking to hand over their guns for gift cards.

Another man, who only wanted to be identified as David, was paying cash for guns just down the street from the event. He doesn’t agree with the philosophy behind the buyback initiative.

“The guns they’re getting off the street are not on the street,” David said. “They’re people’s antique 22s or hunting rifles. Things that aren’t going to be used in crimes anyway.”

Chief Diaz said the department wasn’t thrilled about the number of private deals going on outside the event.

“I would prefer that they not sell them, but this is a decision each individual has a right to make,” said Diaz. “I look at it from the perspective that if we can save one life, if we have weapons people do not want in their house and they’re willing to destroy them, I think that is a good thing for us to do.”

Despite differing opinions each side still got what they wanted — guns.

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12 comments

  • ScottACNohea

    Gun buybacks are a freakin' joke. The goal is to get firearms "off the streets". In almost ALL cases, you are getting firearms from people that aren't criminals offloading their non-firing or ancient firearms that wouldn't net much more than the value of the metal in them in the real marketplace; rarely do you see anything spectacular getting turned in. Of course their will be guys gals out there looking for a firearm on the cheap; many, my guess, would be gunsmiths who could actually fix the firearm to safely be used again.

    • Coldsteelscout

      I was there. There were actually some great firearms being turned in and bought. I saw an all serial matched M1 Garand, AK-47 22lr and also an SKS with foldable stock purchased both for either $100 or $110. My buddy bought two pistols (smith and wesson model 59 9mm and Taurus 22mag revolver) for $140. We did see someone turn down an offer of $600 for an AK-47… he said he just wanted his $200 gift card. Everyone on the street buying that i saw, including myself all have CCL's. I unfortunately did not see anything i wanted but had i been more proactive i could have gotten some great deals.

      • mark

        Psst. There's no such thing as a "serial matched garand" :) Just part numbers which are "correct" for the production period of the serial number stamped on the receiver. I'm hoping the Garand didn't go into the buyback. Please say someone scored it for a good price.

  • Rachael

    I'd like to see the law enforcement officers turn their guns in while their at it. If law abiding citizens should in order to save lives, imagine how many lives would be saved when all the officers are disarmed! Doesn't make much sense, does it!?

  • me109g4

    Gun buybacks = more feel good BS that does nothing to effect the criminal element in our society. People who dont know any better give up some very valuable firearms for a silly gift card instead of selling them to a licensed dealer who will sell them to a law abiding citizen.

  • Craig

    SHAME on the people who tried to out bid the City. They are the problem. We HAVE to change the laws to get these lowlife creeps out of the gun trade.

    • mark

      Shame on your city for spending tax dollars buying private property from people to try to look tough on crime. Low life creeps? Really? You don't know these people. They broke no laws but because they are firearms enthusiasts or veterans, or someone who wants to protect their family you label them creeps? Please unplug yourself from the talking heads, go do some research and find out that firearms are a) a sign of a free nation, and b) they save lives. More crimes are prevented by law biding citizens who are armed, than committed by criminals every day. Do the research, don't be willfully ignorant, and don't label/call people names who you don't know.

  • Jan Nemo

    I hope these people have other firearms at home for their own defense and just got rid off the junky ones. I wonder how many felons got their hands on a decent firearm to commit crime with through the private sales. Gun buybacks= feel good BS = pointless action. And thanks for the advertisement for private sales, Police!


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