City of Federal Way to exchange guns for gift cards

The Feb. 4 event, conducted by Federal Way police, aims to reduce firearm-related casualties in the home and other gun crimes.

The City of Federal Way is offering gift cards in exchange for guns in the parking lot of Federal Way City Hall Saturday, Feb. 4. Anyone with an unwanted firearm may participate.

Conducted by Federal Way police officers, this event is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participation is voluntary and anonymous. This is the first time the city is hosting a gun buy-back event.

“For people who no longer want guns or the risks associated with having them, submitting them for destruction is a viable alternative to selling them,” said Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell.

The Federal Way Police Department (FWPD) is conducting this event for three public safety purposes:

1. To enhance household safety by reducing opportunities for firearm-related casualties in the home. By removing guns from households, the risk of gun-related accidents, suicide, and serious domestic violence injuries may be reduced.

2. To enhance community safety by reducing the number of firearms that may fall into nefarious hands. Non-permissioned access to guns by minors leads to tragedy, Federal Way police stated. Many guns used in dangerous crimes were stolen from law-abiding people. Reducing the number of unwanted guns in circulation reduces opportunities for firearm tragedies and gun crimes.

3. To enhance community safety by reducing the number of look-alike guns circulating in the community. Look-alike guns are sometimes used by criminals to commit serious crimes. Tragedies sometimes occur when a person wields a fake gun in circumstances that cause public alarm, FWPD stated.

“For this public safety event, the government’s interest in removing unwanted guns from circulation, preventing local tragedies, and preventing gun crime outweighs our normal interests associated with gun tracking,” Ferrell said.

In order to encourage inclusive participation among all households, participants will not be required to show identification at the event. Participant names and license plates will not be recorded. Gift cards will be given for firearms only.

Exchange values for firearms are:

  • $0 for toy guns, BB/pellet guns, homemade firearms, non-firing objects that look like firearms, ammunition, magazines, and other ammunition-feeding devices or firearm accessories.
  • $25 for antique firearms, junk guns, firearms that appear inoperable, receivers/frames only, and bump-fire stocks.
  • $50 for muzzle-loading firearms manufactured after the U.S. entered WWII (less than 82 years old).
  • $100 for rifles. .22LR weapons that look like AR-15s or AK-47s are traded as rifles, not as AR-15s or AK-47s.
  • $100 for shotguns.
  • $100 for revolvers.
  • $200 for pistols.
  • $300 for AR-15s, AK-47s, and machine guns.

There is no additional compensation for scopes, optical sights, lights or other accessories attached to a weapon. Police may accept toy guns, BB/pellet guns, objects that look like firearms, ammunition, magazines and other ammunition-feeding devices, but there is no compensation for such.

If gift cards run out before the event concludes at 2 p.m., the event will remain open for the full duration for anyone who wants to turn in guns without receiving gift cards. No compensation will be given after gift cards run out. (No I.O.U., no reign checks, etc.)

Specific rules and definitions will be posted on the Federal Way Police Department Facebook page for 10 days prior to the Feb. 4 event.

If you have additional questions, contact Deputy Chief Kyle Sumpter via email at