guns associated press photo
It's not a buy-back. There are no gift cards. But the Thurston County Sheriff is accepting unwanted firearms on Saturday. (AP Photo/file)

Gun 'turn-in,' not 'buy-back' in Olympia Saturday

It's not a buy-back. There are no gift cards. But the Thurston County Sheriff is accepting unwanted firearms on Saturday.

The gun turn-in program was prompted by the shootings in Newtown, Conn., according to sheriff's Lt. Greg Elwin.

"We saw an increase in the number of calls that we got here at the sheriff's office from people in our community saying 'Hey, I've got these unwanted guns, I've never wanted them [...] Can you help me?'"

Unlike Seattle's buy-back day, scheduled for the following Saturday, Jan. 27, the Thurston County program offers no incentives other than getting rid of a gun that might otherwise be stolen in a burglary.

If the gun owner requests it, the gun will be destroyed. Otherwise, Elwin says the sheriff's office will exchange the firearm for ammunition.

"We trade the firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer for credit and then we use that credit to purchase ammunition for our firearms training program here at the sheriff's office," said Elwin.

The gun turn-in runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McLane Black Lake Fire Department on Delphi Road N.W. in Olympia.

Elwin says the sheriff is already planning a larger event for later in the year that could include a buy-back provision if sponsors can be found.

Tim Haeck, KIRO Radio Reporter
Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.
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