Seattle gun buyback nets Stinger missile launcher (+video)
In Seattle, one man brought a used Stinger missile launcher to the weekend gun buyback program. In San Francisco, Trenton, and Seattle, gun buyback programs saw a surge of interest.
Seattle police are tracking down the history of a nonfunctional missile launcher that showed up at a weapons buyback program.
Detective Mark Jamieson says a man standing outside the event on Saturday bought the military weapon for $100 from another person there. The single-use device had already been used. It's a launch tube assembly for a Stinger portable surface-to-air missile.
He says detectives will notify the Army Criminal Investigation Command on Monday.
Jamieson says the launcher is a controlled military item and that's not available to civilians through any surplus or disposal program offered by the government. He says it's most likely that the launch tube was previously obtained unlawfully from the military, and would likely be returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The gun buyback in a parking lot in downtown Seattle was scheduled to go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but ended early because of the large crowd. Police say that after two hours, more than 160 guns had been turned in and $35,000 in gift cards had been distributed. Other buybacks are planned for later this year.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and other leaders have praised the buyback effort, saying it will reduce gun violence. But statistics show a previous effort in Seattle failed to do that.
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