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Tuesday, September 8, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Seattle Gun Buyback Restarts -- Hundreds Line Up At Precincts To Turn In Their Weapons For $50 Apiece

Seattle's gun buyback program got started again today with hundreds of weapons turned in within a few hours.

At the South Precinct of the Seattle Police Department on South Myrtle Street, a line of more than 50 people stretched out onto the sidewalk as people waited to turn in their handguns for the $50 offered through the buyback program.

About 50 weapons, including two sawed-off shotguns, were turned in at the South Precinct in two hours today. At the East Precinct, more than 25 were brought in within one hour, and at the West Precinct, nearly a dozen people waited in line within an hour after the buying program opened for business at 9 a.m.

Some people even came from outside the city.

Karen Kubatzki said she came from Auburn to get the $50 for a gun that had been given to her husband.

"It's 109 years old," she said, explaining that a date etched on the pistol indicated it was made in 1883. She said there were no bullets for the weapon and no one she'd talked to even knew what caliber it fired.

To the buyback program, that didn't make any difference; the intent is to take as many weapons off the streets as possible. The guns are purchased with no questions asked. The owners don't have to identify themselves or provide any other information.

The buyback effort, sponsored by Stop The Violence, a community group trying to curtail shootings, started Sept. 1 and ran out of money last Thursday.

It was revitalized over the weekend by two anonymous contributions, one for $25,000 and one for $10,000. The money allowed the program to restart today after a four-day break for the Labor Day weekend.

About 600 weapons had been turned in when the program stopped last week, said James Kelly, program coordinator.

The Police Department's East and South precincts will accept guns at any hour. The North and West precincts still will accept guns only between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The South Precinct is at 3001 S. Myrtle Place. The East Precinct is 1519 Twelfth Ave. The North Precinct is 10049 College Way North, and the West is 610 Third Ave.

The vouchers can be redeemed without signature at any First Interstate Bank branch.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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