King County to propose buyback program for guns and ammunition

SEATTLE — A new King County proposal would create a program that allows anyone with unwanted firearms or ammunition to turn those items in to any King County Sheriff’s Office precinct or a storefront operated by the agency.

The gun buyback program would be permanent and an attempt to keep guns from getting onto the streets.

The proposal currently has the support of 4 out of 9 county councilmembers.

Councilmember Rod Dembowski said this proposal was at the top of his mind.

“Reducing the number of guns in circulation will reduce the number of accidents, injuries and deaths caused by guns. And we know from past experience that people welcome the opportunity to turn unwanted guns over to a responsible part for disposal. This program will make that resource available to residents countywide.”

The city of Seattle and King County both held gun buyback programs in previous years.

In 2013, 716 firearms were turned in to King County and in 1992, 1,172 firearms were turned in to Seattle.

Those against the proposal have questioned the effectiveness of the program in lowering gun violence, while those in support call this a step forward.