By Gene Johnson Associated Press
SEATTLE — Turn in a handgun in Seattle and pick up a $100 gift card for online shopping at Amazon.com.
The Seattle-based online retailer is kicking in $30,000 to start the program announced Tuesday by Mayor Mike McGinn and other city leaders to reduce firearms in the community.
The Seattle Police Foundation is adding $25,000. Pemco and other businesses also are contributing to push the total over $70,000.The first buyback will be Jan. 26 under an Interstate 5 viaduct in downtown Seattle. Others are planned. Handguns, rifles and shotguns are worth a $100 gift card. Guns classified as assault weapons are worth $200.
Participants need not worry about being accused. Police said they won’t take photos or record license plates. No ballistics tests will be conducted on the weapons.
“This isn’t a trick, and this isn’t a sting. Whether you’re turning an anti-tank missile launcher you ‘found’ in your basement, or your Gammie’s old .45, the buyback is anonymous with no questions asked,” the police department said in a statement.
The department will check to see if any of the guns are reported stolen and return those to the owners.
Participants also may turn in unwanted ammunition and fireworks. There’s no limit on the number of guns, but they may not all pay off.
“Turn in as many guns as you like, but we reserve the right to limit the number of gift cards we hand over to one person. If you show up with 1,500 guns, you might not walk away with $150,000 in gift card swag,” the department said.
Police said people should treat all guns as if they are loaded. Participants will be met by an officer to make sure the guns are safe.
The guns become property of the Seattle Police Department and will be destroyed.