Residents line up to sell guns to police at Gift Cards for Guns second event

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

All photos by Steven H. Robinson

On Saturday, October 21, 2023 King County, and the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), in collaboration with the cities of Shoreline and Kenmore, hosted a Gift Cards for Guns event.

This was the second event in a program that received a $100,000 allotment from the King County Council in July 2022.

People got in line early

It is a voluntary program that provides the public with a viable alternative for disposing of firearms and ammunition. The program was initiated by the King County Council County and King County Executive’s Office and aims to reduce gun violence and promote public safety.

The program aims to address the increase in gun violence in King County by implementing a voluntary firearm and ammunition return program that residents can easily access. 

Pull up, police will unload the guns

By reducing the number of guns in circulation, the program hopes to decrease the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths caused by firearms. The program also offers residents a safe, consistent option for returning unwanted guns and ammunition.

The event was held as a drive-through at Shoreline Community College, located at 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline, WA, 98133.

It was scheduled to run from 10am to 2pm or until all gift cards had been distributed. Participants were paid from Zero dollars for ammunition, pellet guns, toy guns, etc. to $300 for AR-15, AK-47, and machine guns.

As expected a variety of weapons were brought in

By 12:30pm about 265 guns had been collected and $28,200 of the $35,000 designated had been given away.

For more information about the KCSO Gift Cards for Guns Program, including event dates and locations, visit the KCSO Facebook page.

Our county councilmember Rod Dembowski said that 

"These events are a result of legislation I passed last year establishing King County’s firearm and ammunition return program. Similar efforts across the country have proven successful in allowing not only a place for secure disposal, but also ensuring firearms owners can know that their unwanted firearms will not fall into the wrong hands if resold in the private market. 
"I appreciate the professionalism and service to our community from the Sheriff’s department and their team who are managing this important program, and value their work using a range of law enforcement strategies to keep our communities safe. 

"Studies have repeatedly shown that guns in homes are more likely to lead to accidental shootings, assaults, or suicide attempts than to be used successfully in self-defense. Voluntary buyback programs can be effective at decreasing that risk. 
"While other public safety strategies are meant to address guns used in crimes, this particular strategy is about safety at home and reducing the risk of firearms injuries and deaths." 


Anonymous,  October 24, 2023 at 2:16 PM  

This program is ineffective and the funds could be used to better serve mental health. Maybe law makers could look at consequences for offenders. I don't believeit is a gun problem rather the people who accessthem.

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