Renowned success of Kirkland’s “Guns For Gift Cards”; Third scheduled event

KIRKLAND, WA — Kirkland concluded its second “Guns for Gift Cards” trade last week and picked up a few dozen additional guns in less than two hours, building on the success of its first gun buyback event. weapons last month.

Kirkland announced the voluntary firearms exchange program earlier this year as part of a broader effort to reduce gun-related deaths.

“Kirkland has had six gun-related suicides since 2020,” Kirkland Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold said in June. “Encouraging community members to voluntarily relinquish ownership of unwanted firearms is one step we can take to help reduce the likelihood of accidental firearm injuries and suicides.”

“Guns for Gift Cards proved immediately popular, with the June 25 event collecting 91 guns and paying out over $11,000 in Visa gift cards. Values ​​ranged from $250 for “AR-style guns or AK”, $200 for handguns, $100 for bolt action rifles and shotguns, and $25 for non-functional firearms and pellet guns.

Both events took place at the Kirkland Justice Center, and visitors only had to bring proof of residency and load their unwanted firearms into the back of their car.

In a news release Tuesday, city officials said another 21 residents turned in 60 guns at the July event, which raised nearly $7,000 in gift cards. The two events combined provided over $18,000 in payouts and netted 151 weapons.

“After our first successful arms swap in June, we didn’t know what the community’s response would be to a second event.” Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris said. “But now we do. Obviously, this service is important for those with unwanted firearms.”

Residents who wish to participate in the future will have another chance in September, and specific details will be shared closer to the event. Updates will be posted on the Official site of the city.

Michael N. Clark