Part of the Seattle-King County Gun Safety Initiative, Amazon is donating $30,000 in gift cards for trade to people who turn in their guns. Thanks to contributions from Amazon, the Seattle Police Foundation ($25K), Nick and Leslie Hanauer ($25K), the University of Washington Medical Center ($10K), SEOmoz ($10K) and Pemco ($5K), $108,000 has already been raised, topping the $100K goal.
The buyback program is anonymous and the SPD assures that it won’t be taking pictures of people at the buybacks or looking for signatures. Once turned in, the guns become part of SPD property and will later be destroyed from the earth.
“This isn’t a trick, and this isn’t a sting,” writes SPD. “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.”
SPD reserves the right to limit the number of gift cards to one person, so that people aren’t showing up with 1,500 guns and receiving a $150,000 gift card.
Seattle implemented a similar initiative in 1992 when 1,172 firearms were turned in. Los Angeles also did the same thing last month, taking in more than 2,000 weapons and two rocket launchers. Yes, rocket launchers.
But there are doubters that say this program won’t work. Dave Workman, senior editor at The Gun Mag, told The Yakima Herald that “we’ve had a history of these gun buybacks around the country, and they haven’t done anything.”
Seattle had 26 homicides last year, which is about average looking back at the past 10 years. 22 of those happened in the first half of 2012.
Previously on GeekWire: WhitePages CEO spread awareness about school shootings with online database