April 1, 2023
I previously reported on legislation I authored directing the King County Sheriff’s Office to create a permanent firearm and ammo return program.
Thanks to $100,000 I was able to include in the 2023-2024 King County budget, the Burien Sheriff’s Office was able to host the first “Gift Cards for Guns” event on Saturday, April 1st. At the event, community members were able to turn in unwanted firearms voluntarily and safely, in exchange for gift cards worth up to $300. In total, 287 firearms were turned in, with deputies handing out gift cards totaling $36,525.
Residents told our deputies over and over how much they appreciated the opportunity to securely dispose of their unwanted firearms without any concern about how the guns might be used in the future if they were sold on the private market. I appreciate the professionalism and service to our community from the Sheriff’s department and their team who ran this program, and value their work using a range of law enforcement strategies to keep our communities safe.
Studies have repeatedly shown that guns in homes are more likely to lead to accidental shootings, assaults, or suicide attempts than to be used successfully in self-defense. Voluntary buyback programs can be effective at decreasing that risk. While other public safety strategies are meant to address guns used in crimes, this particular strategy is about safety at home and reducing the risk of firearms injuries and deaths.