There was some chatter on the net last week that this weekend's gun buyback program would net a lot of hunks of metal that couldn't shoot the broad side of City Hall, let alone the Emerald City innocents the program is meant to protect.
"I doubt you're going to see any valuable guns being turned in. I think it will be a dumping ground for garbage guns," wrote one opinionated fellow.
With that in mind, I gave Aaron Pickus a call at Mayor Mike McGinn's office today to see whether they were keeping track of how many of the 716 guns exchanged for $68,000 in gift cards could actual fire a bullet.
"Each one was operational," Pickus reports.
The guns were looked over by firearms experts at the police department, who determined they could shoot; the experts didn't actually fire the guns, so how accurate they were is another question. Still, the fact that no one turned in a total dud is remarkable, especially given that police weren't screening for broken weapons, Pickus said.
This statistic doesn't include the widely reported missile launcher turned in, which, thank God, was no longer in working condition.
In a press release, Pickus also reported that most people rebuffed entreaties by private gun buyers outside the event offering cash for weapons.
Despite the presence of private buyers near the event site, very few members of the public chose to sell their weapons, preferring to participate in the gun buyback event. State law permits private gun sales between Washington State residents without a background check, even though background checks are mandated for retail gun sales.