Seattle gun buyback draws a crowd

Jan. 27, 2013 at 4:05 PM
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SEATTLE, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Seattle police said they sold out of gift cards during a gun buyback program that drew a much larger response than expected.

A two-hour line and traffic jam led to some frustration by residents at the event, the Seattle Times said Sunday. Further complicating the law enforcement effort were gun enthusiasts who showed up offering more money than the $100 and $200 gift cards police were handing out, leading some waiting in line to sell their weapons to individuals rather than police.

A loophole in gun control laws allows person-to-person transactions to take place without a background check.

"I'd prefer they wouldn't sell them," Seattle Police Chief John Diaz said of the people in line making deals with the gun buyers.

He acknowledged the logistical problems at the buyback but said the department had no way of knowing how many people would show up because the city hasn't held a gun buyback in more than 20 years. He said officers gave away $80,000 in gift cards and offered IOUs to those who still waited in line after the gift cards were gone.

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