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Update: Seattle Gun Buyback Nets 716 Weapons

Officials are looking for more donations to offer a second buyback.

Seattle's first gun buyback since 1992 netted 716 weapons, officials announced Monday morning.

The total included 364 rifles, 348 pistols, three Street Sweeper shotguns and a Stinger missile launcher tube—all collected in less than four hours in downtown Seattle on Saturday. Officials offered gift cards worth $100 or $200 in exchange for each firearm.

Do you think gun buybacks are a good idea? Tell us in the comments section.

Speaking at a news conference Monday, King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn in applauding the buyback's success.

“Hundreds of homes in King County are safer places to live today," Constantine said. “These guns are now out of the home and off the street.”

McGinn offered similar praise and also refuted speculation that the buyback would net only old, unusable guns: “Every weapon we bought was a usable weapon,” he said.

Officials said they issued $68,000 in gift cards—roughly two-thirds of the $118,100 that private donors pledged in financial support. Organizers would like to hold a second event, McGinn said, but they must first secure additional donations.

McGinn also addressed the fact that many individuals at the buyback event were buying and selling firearms among themselves—an observation he said points to the need for a universal background check law at the state or federal level. City police, he said, currently do not have the legal authority to stop private gun sales.

Seattle's last gun buyback took place in 1992 and brought in more than 1,200 guns over four days.

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MSGLAIGAIE January 30, 2013 at 05:55 PM
The gun can never be illegal. The USE of the weapon may be illegal, but never an inanimate object.
Joe M January 30, 2013 at 09:43 PM
MSGLAIGAIE, the possession or manufacture of a particular type of gun may be illegal. (The Second Amendment allows for that.) In that case, I think it is a useful and correct shorthand to say the gun is illegal. Of course that disproves Lise's statement that "All guns start off as legal guns."
Elaine Biggerstaff January 30, 2013 at 10:54 PM
All those who turned in their guns left the message that they don't care about reserving their constitutional right and they don't care about the underlying issues that surround gun violence. They seem to believe in a quick fix that isn't fixing anything at all. To me, these people are just as dangerous as the shooters because they would rather give up liberty for a false sense of safety and lazily allow emotion to rule their acts. This is a good road to the day when they will have neither liberty nor safety.
NRA & HOG guy January 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM
klondiko: the number you seek is from the FBI NICS: in the US Nov. 2012 background checks to legally purchase firearms was 2.01 million Dec. 2012 background checks to legally purchase firearms was 2.78 million NICS FBI legal background checks for firearms for 2102 in the US was 19.8 million. It's currently un-know exactly how many gun laws are on the books, both Federal and all state laws, but estimates are in the several hundreds, and most are not enforced. Gun shows in the Puget Sound area are very strict, put up with no, non-sense and have a zero tolerance for not following all safety rules while attending the gun show I don't believe figures are available for each city, since NICS is FBI controlled at the Federal level. Hope this helps
Margaret Santjer February 02, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Folks, thanks for the comments. Here's a reminder to please refrain from using profanity.

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