Everett Police Address Concerns Over “Guns For Gift Cards” Event On December 17th.

December 5, 2022

Everett, Police Blotter

Click for more information and the updated FAQ.

On November 30th the police department in Everett, Washington announced they will be holding a “Guns for gift cards” event at their south precinct on December 17th. That announcement was met with a lot of push back and today EPD provided a response and further explanation on social media. Here it is.

We want to take a moment to talk about why we are hosting a Guns for Gift Cards event and address some of the concerns we’ve heard. In communities across our country, there are many households that have firearms that are unwanted and unused, such as inherited firearms, and people are unsure how to dispose of them. That’s why law enforcement agencies and other partners nationwide have started hosting gun buyback programs: to give individuals an option to legally dispose of their unwanted firearms, which lessens the chance they fall into the wrong hands and are used in gun-related crimes or suicides. These programs do not involuntarily take away the firearms of responsible gun owners. It is completely voluntary.
For more information about the Everett Police Department’s Guns for Gift Cards event, check out the event website, including a new FAQ section.

Editor’s Note: Below is the FAQ section.

Q. Are gun buybacks effective?
A. For individual households, gun buyback programs lessen the likelihood of gun violence, whether accidental or intentional, occurring in the home. There are many households that have firearms that are unwanted and unused, such as inherited firearms, and people are unsure of how to dispose of them. The buyback program gives our community an option to legally dispose of the unwanted firearms, lessening the chance they fall into the wrong hands and are used in gun-related crimes or suicides.
Buyback programs are one part of a broader effort to reduce gun violence and serve as opportunities to educate communities about gun violence reduction strategies.

Q. Is this a violation of my rights to legally own firearms?
A. EPD has no intention of taking away a responsible gun owner’s firearms. This voluntary program is geared toward those who are uncomfortable with the firearms in their home or have no use for their firearms any longer, affording them a safe, legal way to dispose of their firearms.

Q. What happens to guns that are turned in?
A. All firearms will be checked to see if they are stolen or have been used in any crimes. If the weapon is not stolen or used in a crime, it will be properly destroyed by the Everett Police Department. If the weapon is stolen or determined to have been used in the commission of a crime, the firearm will be impounded as evidence and not destroyed unless and until its evidentiary value has dissipated. Participants who submit a firearm that is determined to be stolen or related to
criminal activity may be properly investigated for their role in any criminal activity related to the firearm.

Q. Where did the funding for the gift cards come from?
A. The City will use funding from its federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds award (ALN 21.027; FAIN SLFRP0494). This funding was made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Eligible uses of these funds include:
 Revenue replacement for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent fiscal year prior to the emergency
 COVID-19 expenditures or negative economic impacts of COVID-19, including assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries, and economic recovery
 Premium pay for essential workers
 Investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure The Gun Buyback program is being funded under the revenue replacement for the provision of government services eligibility category.

Q. Can I purchase guns from people who are at the event to turn theirs in?
A. No. The law requires private buyers and sellers to conduct a firearms transaction through a federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL). Unlawful transfer of a firearm is a criminal offense subject to enforcement. (RCW 9.41.115). Transfers to law enforcement are exempted from formal transfer requirements (RCW 9.41.113(4)(e)). Individuals are not allowed to impede event traffic on the street, sidewalk, or parking lot (EMC 10.48).


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