Don't want that gun anymore? Here's how to safely get rid of it

Don't want that gun anymore? Here's how to safely get rid of it »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Recent gun violence has prompted several cities across the country to host gun buyback programs to take guns off the streets.

After the Newtown shooting, Bridgeport, Connecticut hosted a gun buyback, and residents raised money to buy and destroy guns people didn't want anymore.

A similar program in Los Angeles last month netted more than 2,000 guns -- traded in for grocery gift cards.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says a buyback is worth considering, but he doesn't believe it keeps guns off the street.

"It's a little trying to bail out the ocean with a leaky bucket with a gun buyback," McGinn said. "I'd feel a lot better if we had more control at the front end."

What should gun owners do if they don't want a firearm anymore? You don't need a license to sell a gun privately, but you also might not know much about the buyer. A dealer can give you an idea of a gun's value and resell it for you.

"The best thing to do at that point is bring it in to a gun shop," said Butch with Butch's Gun Shop. "Let us take care of the paperwork and get it done right. Keeps you safe, the gun goes away and goes to someone reputable. It's not going to wind up on the street unless it gets stolen."

If you want a gun out of circulation, you can choose to have it melted down. That was the end result of a gun buyback in Cleveland, where police destroyed nearly 1,000 guns.

You can do the same by giving your gun to a police or sheriff's department.

"What we don't want them to do is put it in their attic, put it in their closet, where it's going to get stolen," said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. "Give it to us. If they don't want the gun anymore, they can turn it in to us and we'll destroy it."

If you get rid a gun, don't forget the ammunition. Gun dealers and police will destroy or recycle it for you, no charge.