Officials in Tacoma, Washington, want to put a drop box in the city where individuals who want to turn in guns for destruction can do so anonymously.
According to The News Tribune, the plan is to create a box where “people turn in guns for destruction without getting their names on a police report.” Officials believe it will provide an outlet for those who now have guns they want to dispose of but can’t because there is no way to do so without interaction with police.
The box will be designed as “a secure receptacle where people can turn over firearms without talking to an officer or even being seen by police.”
Tacoma gang reduction project coordinator Melissa Cordeiro supports the creation of the box, as she believes it will provide a way out for some minors in possession of firearms who currently want to get rid of the guns but want to avoid police contact in doing so. Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell supports the move as well, saying, “The main intent and goal is just to get these weapons off the streets.”
But Ramsdell stressed that police will not hesitate to pursue individuals who use the box as a dumping ground for guns used in crimes. He did not explain how police would know who dropped a gun that was used in crime–as the drops are designed to be anonymous–he simply cautioned that no one should think the box is for dumping guns tied to crime.
City officials have not yet explained how they will keep someone from backing their truck or SUV up the drop box if it is free standing, placing a chain around it, and dragging it home or busting it open right on the spot. Nor have they explained what they will do to protect themselves from liability should loaded guns discharge after being dropped in the box.
Officials say their current focus is simply finding a business that is willing to host the box.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.