A Seattle gun buyback event took a rather unusual twist on Saturday. A group of gun owners converged upon the event and offered to buy the guns themselves. The guns turned in to the Seattle Police Department were going to be destroyed. Once the guns were melted down, they were going to be used as rebar in city construction projects.
The gun buyback was the first such event held in Seattle since the 1990s, according to The Blaze. Dozens of private gun owners utilized the “gun show loophole” to purchase the guns without a background check. Professional gun buyers are mandated to perform background checks whether at their own store or a remote location.
Several hundred people showed up in Seattle to turn in their semi-automatic weapons, shotguns, and rifles. In exchange, the folks were given gift either a $100 or $200 gift card, KING 5 News reports. The outdoor make-shift gun show attracted a lot of attention from buyback participants as they neared the police drop-off spot.
Some private gun buyers made sure to tell the gun-toting residents that they offered cold, hard, cash instead of gift cards. To attract even potential gun sellers, some dealers offered free donuts and cookies to passersby.
One Seattle gun dealer had this to say during a sidewalk interview:
“It’s a historical firearm, I would hate to see it get destroyed.”
Another man hoping to pick up a new gun at the Seattle buyback event noted he would rather see the guns turned back into the gun community and used for shooting sports than be destroyed.
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz had this to say about the private gun buyers:
“Some are looking at this as a money making operation. But I think that is very few of the people. Most people are here in the spirit of wanting to do something because of some of the tragedies that we’ve seen in our country and in our own city.”
The Seattle gun buyback was funded by the Seattle Police Foundation, local businesses, and Amazon. During the first several hours of the event, police garnered 160 guns and gave out $35,000 in gift cards.
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[Image Via King 5 News]