Kirkland Police collect 91 firearms in the region’s first gun buy-back program in nearly a decade

Police gave over $11,000 in gift cards to gunowners in exchange for their weapons.

Kirkland Police Department received 91 guns at its ‘Guns for Gift Cards’ exchange on June 25 at the first voluntary gun turn-in event in the Puget Sound region in nearly ten years.

The event at the Kirkland Justice Center, which invited residents to voluntarily relinquish unwanted firearms in exchange for useful gift cards, drew 45 participants who received $11,375 in gift cards.

“With these guns out of our community, we are one step closer to helping reduce the likelihood of accidental injuries, violent crimes, and suicides by firearms in our City,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Amy Falcone. “Public safety is our highest priority, and the potential for preventing gun-related deaths in our community makes this event a success.”

The volume of firearms received for this event was more than anticipated, according to the Kirkland Police Department. Specifically, event participants turned in three AR-15 or AK-47 type firearms, 32 handguns, 47 rifles and shotguns, and 9 obviously non-functioning firearms or pellet guns.

“Events like this, along with firearm safety courses and gun locks, can help reduce the risk of firearms being stolen and used in violent crimes or accidental deaths,” said Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris.

The Guns for Gift Cards exchange in Kirkland was the first gun turn-in event held by law enforcement in the Puget Sound region since 2013 in Seattle.

Guns for Gift Cards, along with a series of firearms safety videos published over the last year and a half, are part of KPD’s ongoing efforts to reduce gun violence and unwanted firearms in our community. KPD is planning another Guns for Gift Cards exchange event in July.