Semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop on Oct. 2, 2018, in Lynnwood. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson, File)

Semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop on Oct. 2, 2018, in Lynnwood. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson, File)

Trade in an unloaded gun for a loaded gift card in Mukilteo, Everett

Mukiteo’s Gun Buyback is Saturday. Everett has $25,000 to give out at its exchange Dec. 17.

EVERETT — Gun owners can load up on gift cards by relinquishing their weapons the next two Saturdays.

Mukilteo and Everett want to reduce community gun violence by enticing residents to cash in, so to speak, on unwanted firearms.

No money exchanges hands. Payment is by preloaded Visa gift cards in amounts from $25 to $300.

“People get it on the spot,” Mukilteo crime prevention officer Nathan Fabia said.

No questions asked.

Mukilteo’s “Gun Buyback” is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the police station, 10500 47th Place West. The trade is $50 gift cards for handguns and $100 gift cards for long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. BB guns don’t qualify.

“It is completely anonymous,” Fabia said. “They don’t need to show residency. There is no limit on the number of guns they can turn in.”

Some rules are different in Everett’s “Guns for Gift Cards” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 17 at the South Precinct, 1121 SE Everett Mall Way. Everett residents get first priority and can come at 10 a.m. The event opens to all Snohomish County residents starting at noon.

Everett has $25,000 worth of gift cards to hand out. The city is offering gift cards of $25 for inoperable firearms and receivers, $100 for rifles and shotguns, $200 for handguns, and $300 for AR-15/AK-47 rifles and machine guns.

In Everett, people outside the county can turn in guns, but won’t receive gift cards. To get a gift card, participants must provide proof of residency, such as an ID, utility bill or vehicle registration. Officers will not record names or do records checks. U.S. citizenship is not required.

After the $25,000 in cards is gone, people may still turn in guns until the event ends but won’t get rewarded.

Federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act are footing the bill for Everett’s project.

In Mukilteo, the buyback is part of $7,000 approved by Mukilteo City Council as part of its annual budget. About half will go to pay for gun safety classes for residents.

Buybacks in both cities were inspired by the success the Kirkland Police Department that collected 151 firearms over two days.

People don’t bring the guns inside the police station. They stay in their car. Firearms need to be unloaded and placed in the trunk or backseat of the vehicle.

Ammunition is not accepted.

Police later will check the firearm history. Those not stolen or linked to crimes will be destroyed, not resold.

“We are eager to see how it goes,” Fabia said. “This is our first time doing something like this.”

Upcoming police gun buyback events

Mukilteo’s Gun Buyback: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, 10500 47th Place West.

Everett’s Guns for Gift Cards: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the following Saturday, Dec. 17, at 1121 SE Everett Mall Way.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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