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Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn: No more sidewalk gun sales

At Seattle's gun buyback in late January, gun dealers showed up offering cash for weapons while people waited in line. Mayor Mike McGinn says that will not happen again. (AP Photo/file)

At Seattle's gun buyback in late January, gun dealers showed up offering cash for weapons while people waited in line. Mayor Mike McGinn says that will not happen again.

"I can assure you that the next time that we do a gun buyback, and we do intend to do another one, we can shut it down," McGinn tells Seattle's Morning News.

The impromptu gun bazaar on the the sidewalk near the buyback location upset McGinn and other leaders who organized the buyback, which offered gift certificates in exchange for unwanted firearms.

The mayor said on Friday that he investigated whether the city had the authority to prevent the private gun buys. McGinn tells KIRO Radio the city can issue a $500 fine for people doing business in city right of way without a license (SMC 15.17.).

"We can prevent that gun bazaar the next time. I went to my attorney in my office and I said, 'Carl, next time we do one of these, what's my authority to stop it? If I don't have authority, I'm going to ask the city council to get authority.' And he found me some authority and we're going to shut it down next time," said McGinn.

McGinn is still defending gun buyback programs. He acknowledged that the buybacks alone won't make a significant dent in gun violence. But he points out that many gun accidents happen at home.

"We just took 719 weapons off the street that people didn't want in their homes."

The mayor said he also supports efforts in the state legislature to require background checks on all gun sales.

About the Author


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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