The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to melt down the Seattle Police Department’s old firearms instead of selling them, the latest step in Mayor Ed Murray’s push to reduce gun violence in the city.
The measure was introduced by the mayor and Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw as a step to reduce the number of guns in the country, a local CBS News affiliate, KIRO 7, reported.
“We’re going to take the guns and destroy the guns,” Mr. Murray told the station. “They’re not going to be resold anywhere.”
The police department estimated that the plan will cost $30,000 in potential sales each year, but called the size of the budget impact “negligible.”
Mr. Murray said it’s gun violence that’s costing the nation “an incredible amount of money.”
“Gun violence is a huge problem for every city in America, and mayors around the country are struggling with what I’m struggling with: How do we reduce the number of guns when Congress won’t act? When state legislatures often don’t act?” he asked.
Mr. Murray couldn’t cite a specific example when a retired Seattle police gun got into the wrong hands.
“You know, there are just too many guns getting into the wrong hands,” he said. “They may be part of a crime in another city. The point is that we are not an island.”
Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb also couldn’t recall a retired Seattle police gun being used in a crime.
The Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, called the resolution “stupid,” KIRO 7 reported.
The guns that the Police Department would dispose of would go to a licensed dealer and anybody who bought one from a dealer would go through a background check,” the group’s founder, Alan Gottlieb, said. “The funds being lost by not trading them in or selling them could have been used for better equipment for the police to protect all of us.”
The Seattle Police Department has not said how many guns would likely be destroyed each year or how much it would cost to melt them down.