Seattle-King County Gun Safety Initiative FAQ

City Of Seattle
2013 Gun Buyback Operation
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Gun Buyback initiative?

The citywide gun buyback initiative will reward voluntary surrender of firearms, while engaging our communities towards a common goal of reducing gun violence. In partnership with the Seattle Police Department, community and faith based organizations, the gun buyback effort will secure centralized locations where individuals can surrender their firearms-no questions asked.

Where are the locations?

The Gun BuyBack will be located at 600 7th Ave in the Republic Parking Lot.  Signs will be posted on site with specific directions.

What are the times?

The first Gun Buyback will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2013.  The event will run from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, or until the gift cards have been exhausted.

What is the amount per gun?

Up to $100.00 gift card for hand guns, shotguns, & rifles.

Up to $200.00 gift card for assault weapons.  

What about magazines?  What are they worth?

We will offer additional gift cards for “high capacity” magazines but they MUST accompany the weapon.  We will not offer gift cards for magazines only.

Gift cards in the following values will be offered;

$10 gift cards per magazine for more than 10 rounds (handguns)

$15 gift cards per magazine for 50 – 100 rounds

$25 gift cards per magazine for over 100 rounds

How do you determine the “up to” value?

Police Armorers will be on site to determine if a weapon is functional and/or intact. Full gift card value will only be given for working weapons. 

Is this a sting? Will Police be taking pictures of participants and writing down license plate numbers?

No. The Gun Buyback is not a sting. It is an anonymous process in which individuals can surrender their weapons, no questions asked. Law enforcement officials will not be taking pictures of participants, nor will they be logging license plate numbers or running ballistic tests on the guns that are turned in.

Will you conduct ballistic testing on the weapons?

No. Ballistic testing will not be conducted on firearms that are surrendered during the Gun Buyback.

Will ballistic testing be done on stolen weapons?

Yes.  Weapons that are found to have been stolen will be handled per the Seattle Police Department policy.

Will there be a press release issued?

Yes. We will provide detailed information to the media and the public about how the buyback will operate once we are closer to the event date.

Is there a limit to how many firearms I can turn in?

An individual may surrender more than three pistols, rifles or shotguns, but gift card reimbursements will only be made for a total of three weapons,

There will be NO limit on weapons determined to be ‘assault weapons’ as defined for the purposes of this BuyBack. 

What happens if I decide to turn in a gun at the buyback, then I decide I want to keep it?

Once a firearm is surrendered at the Gun Buyback it becomes property of the Seattle Police Department, at which time the firearm will not be returned.

What happens if you run out of gift cards?

The quantities of gift cards are limited and are subject to availability. 

Will you check for lost or stolen status of the weapons? If so, will you return to owner?

Yes. All weapons will be checked for lost and/or stolen status. Every effort will be made to return lost and/or stolen firearms to their rightful owners. 

What will happen to the weapons once they are collected?

All weapons will be checked for lost or stolen status, and if applicable will be returned to their rightful owners. All other firearms will be prepared for destruction by the Seattle Police Department.

What about antique weapons or those of historical significance?

Weapons that appear to have historical value will be evaluated prior to any decision on destruction following all State laws.

Can I turn in the gun for someone else?

Yes. The Gun Buyback is completely anonymous and no questions will be asked. 

How is this event being paid for?

The event is being paid for by private funds and financially coordinated through the Seattle Police Foundation. 

Can residents from outside the city turn in their weapons?

Yes. This program is being conducted in partnership with agencies, cities and counties as well as the City of Seattle.

Where can I turn in ammunition?

Unused ammunition and/or fireworks can be disposed at the Gun Buyback locations. 

Where can I get gun locks and firearms safety information?

Gun locks can be obtained free of charge from Seattle Police Department. Details forthcoming.

How do I transport/bring the gun to the BuyBack location?

Please consider that every firearm is loaded and do not attempt to unload the firearm if you are not familiar with the weapon.  If you ARE familiar with the weapon, please unload and secure the weapon in the trunk of the vehicle or in a locked container prior to transport.  Upon arrival at the gun buyback location, you will be advised to leave the firearm in your vehicle until contacted by a uniformed Seattle Police Officer.

The Officer will accompany you to your vehicle or locked container, render the firearm safe and direct you to the compensation processing area. 

What if I don’t have car and want to bring the weapon?

Please consider that every firearm is loaded and do not attempt to unload the firearm if you are not familiar with the weapon.  If you ARE familiar with the weapon, please unload the weapon and secure in a box prior to bringing the weapon on site.  Please contact a Seattle Police Officer in site prior to entering the location.  Notify the officer that you would like to turn in the weapon and you will be escorted to the drop off location.