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Culture & Politics

Commerce Wins at Seattle Buyback

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  January 29th, 2013 4

Private gun buyers invaded a Seattle police buyback event and hauled off an indeterminate number of guns, though police still handed out $68,000 in gift cards for 716 guns.

City officials were miffed that the event, held outdoors, became an impromptu gun show as enterprising buyers cruised the two-hour lines, offering higher prices than the $100 for pistols, rifles and shotguns and $200 for “assault weapons” being provided by the city. Seattle plans to run another event, with limited access to thwart outside buyers.

Anyone who sold an “assault weapon” for $200 in the current environment lost $1,000 or more, and private buyers were keen to make that point and offer cash on the barrelhead.

Gun owners loathe “buybacks” because the name implies that somehow we got the guns from the government in the first place. There also is no question that valuable antiques get swept up in these efforts, though one suspects the choicest specimens make their way into the gun safes of top police officials.

Most of the guns pulled in are old bolt-action shotguns, .22 rifles and chain-store specials that were in no great danger of harming anyone, resting as they were in the back of some closet. Anti-gunners like gun buybacks because they think the events reduce the number of gun owners. Unfortunately for them, their agitation for gun control is making new owners every day, and owners who are using their guns, not letting them rust in the attic. That’s a trade I’ll take every time.

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