At first I only found references to this story from right-wing sites like InfoWars and The Blaze, then I found the Daily Kos reporting basically the same story, so I guess it’s true. (Besides, there are pics. And therefore, by Internet Law, it must have happened.)
So the cops in Seatle decided to do a gun buy-back this past Saturday (Jan 26). They were offering $100 for shotguns, rifles and handguns and $200 for “assault rifles”. What with gun prices being what they are and a lot of folks deciding to stock up out of fear of impending gun-control regs, a bunch of enterprising gun collectors showed up with homemade signs offering to outbid the cops if they liked your gun. What’s more, the cops were handing out Best Buy gift cards, and the gun collectors were paying in cold, hard cash.
Since private citizen sales are still legal (this is the “gun show loophole”), what they were doing was perfectly legal. They had limited success at first, but after 2 hours the cops ran out of gift cards and started issuing IOUs, and at that point the crowds flocked to the gun buyers.
The Daily Kos poster was horrified: “I have to admit I am sort of shocked at the effort these guys go through to prevent guns from being taken out of circulation/off the streets.” The Independence Declarataion quoted a private gun buyer who took a different view, however: “Why not offer them cash versus a gift card? I’m still taking the guns off the streets; they’re just going in my safe.”
I’m guessing that’s the primary motivation for the private buyers: getting more guns intheir safes. Sticking it to the man is probably a nice fringe benefit, however.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic, one of the private gun buys also purchased a Stinger surface-to-air rocket. That’s what the Salon headline would have you believe, anyway. It was actually just the used launcher (they’re one-time weapons), and after the private citizen bought it the police confiscated it because they suspect (quite reasonably) that it’s stolen property.
The Blaze mentioned that fact, too (and gave a more complete story), and it’s just another reminder of how incredibly differently people see this whole issue.
(Note, all images from The Blaze which in turn credits local news station KING 5.)