Seattle gun buy back event draws hundreds

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Seattle Gun BuybackSEATTLE — So many people showed up for Seattle’s gun buy back event on Saturday that organizers ran out of gift certificates and had to end the event early.

Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz were on hand as citizens descended on a parking lot to exchange their guns and assorted weapons. The guns ranged from pistols to assault rifles of various brands and conditions.

One person reportedly dropped off a Russian-made anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Seattle police said a man had purchased the launch tube assembly for a Stinger portable surface-to-air missle.

When police spoke ot the man, he told them he had purchased the item for $100 from someone attending the event. The launch tube assembly piece is what holds the missile and is meant to be discarded after use. Police did not find a missile in the tube. They did take possession of the tube as it is not for civilian use.

Police said they will likely return the item to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is what they typically do with recovered military explosives.

The buy back event started at 9 a.m. and was scheduled to run until 3 p.m., and by 10 a.m., traffic was backed up on the Yesler Way exit off Interstate 5 as drivers headed to the event. By noon, organizers started to shut down the event.  

Based upon the event’s turnout, organizers plan to hold another buyback event in the near future, police said.

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  • Terry Liberty

    We attempted to get rid of a handgun through Seattle's first buyback this morning. The operation suffered mightily from a lack of planning and staffing. Lines were huge and the pace was absolutely glacial. We gave up standing in line after 90 minutes when we realized only 50 or so people had managed to sell their guns in that time. There were at least 150 more standing ahead of us. The location was badly congested with nowhere for the automobiles in their line to go except to snake back for blocks onto the city's streets and snarl the already construction-crippled traffic. D-minus for a lousy execution!!

  • proudgunowner

    Tax payer money hard at work. What a JOKE! People don't want to sell them to a gun shop why? Because they don't want them to land in the hands of criminals. Did you already forget about fast and furious? Our government intentionally put guns and weapons in the hands of very bad criminals. Get a CLUE!

  • Keith

    How can this already be declared "a success" if the measure is that this reduces crime? Has crime already been reduced because of today's joke of a program? The truth is you don't know that and you will never know that this program has prevented ANY crime.

  • Gun Owner

    yes it was a great succses for me, after 90 min wait I turned in 4 old guns that could not be sold for more than $50 for all of them. They gave me $400 worth of gift cads that I sold online, then went and bought a new pistol. isn't America great.

  • Jim

    That was not a Stinger Launch tube. Looks more like an old 50s era Redeye. You would think one of those guys there would know that, or maybe they don't hire vets. And it is legal to own.