Washington city's ‘guns for gift cards’ gave gun owners up to $300 just in time for Christmas
No politics or debates, just a line around the block for the exchange.
A city in Washington state has pulled off a successful gun buyback event just in time for residents to get some extra holiday cash. The event took place at the Everett Police Department and offered people who turned in their firearms up to $300 per gun, according to The Seattle Times.
The only catch was that the people who participated had to prove that they were in fact residents of the city of Everett. But outside of showing an ID or utility bill with a local address, there were no questions asked about the guns collected. That didn't stop people from telling their stories on how they acquired their firearm.
Gun ownership in America is like a rite of passage in some families and several of the stories collected by The Seattle Times described inherited firearms. But with the holiday fast approaching and some people wanting to clear out space as well as afford to buy gifts for their loved ones, the "guns for gift cards" exchange couldn't have come at a better time.
It's not surprising to most people that Americans have a strong feelings about guns and take full advantage of their constitutional right to own them. The average gun owner in America owns five guns according to researchers. Most people report having guns for protection, while others say they have them for hunting or sport.
Everett Police Department's "guns for gift cards" buyback, a program that was modeled on similar ones in other U.S. cities, was a great way to reduce the number of guns people have in their houses. Everett resident Guy Axelson told The Seattle Times, “They’re just locked up all of the time. I don’t want any more around than what I need.”
The line to exchange guns for gift cards at the Everett PD was so long that it took people nearly two hours to get to the front to hand over their firearm and collect their gift card. The success of the program contradicted the notion that people don't want to part with their weapons, as well as showing that if an effective and organized way is presented to reduce the number of guns that people will literally line up to take advantage of it.
One of the best things about this event is that there was no need for political posturing. No one was arguing about guns or Second Amendment rights. There weren't any protests about what the police department was doing. Everyone there was simply there for a transaction that would put money in people's pockets right before Christmas.
The entire event took place without any issue. Some residents turned in guns that no longer worked properly and some decided it was better to have fewer guns in their home while they had small children living there. The Seattle Times reported that several folks turned in the firearms due to concerns of rising crime.
Each gun turned in had a monetary value attached to it depending on its type and functionality. For example, AR-15s and AK-47s were worth the most at $300, while rifles and shotguns equaled $200, handguns were $100, and owners of guns that didn't work were offered $25.
Overall, the police department collected 241 guns, people walked out with a few extra dollars and an entire city felt a little safer.