The Department of Law Enforcement collected 494 firearms, including an Uzi and a Mac10.

Law enforcement officials running Saturday’s gun buyback in Honolulu recovered nearly 500 weapons, many of which are illegal to own both at the state and federal level. 

The Department of Law Enforcement recovered 494 firearms. Those included assault rifles; sawed-off shotguns; a gun with a silencer; ghost guns, which don’t have serial numbers and are untraceable; a Mac10, which is an early Cold War-era submachine gun; and an Uzi, which is a type of automatic submachine gun invented by a late Israeli army officer, according to Toni Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the department. 

Sawed-off shotguns, silencers, automatic weapons and guns without serial numbers are illegal to own, both at the state and federal levels, according to Department of Law Enforcement Director Jordan Lowe.

The buyback program offered participants $100 Foodland gift cards for handguns, rifles, shotguns, bump stocks and Glock switches and $200 gift cards for any automatic firearm, semiautomatic rifle or ghost gun. (Department of Law Enforcement)

The numbers of each type of gun collected was unavailable because officials are still conducting an inventory, said Department of Public Safety Director Tommy Johnson.

Eighty-two gun locks were also distributed, according to Schwartz. 

The buyback program was hosted on an anonymous, “no questions asked” basis to encourage people to participate.   

Johnson said officials will check the serial numbers of the weapons collected to determine if any were ever reported stolen. If so, the department will try to return them to their original owners, he said. 

Some of the weapons don’t have serial numbers. In the case of the Mac10, the serial number had been filed off, he said. 

But the department will not run ballistics on the guns to examine if they had been used in a crime because that could discourage people from participating in the buyback program, he said. 

“It’s to get the guns off the street,” he said of the program’s intent. 

After the guns are inventoried, their trigger mechanisms will be removed. Then, the firearms will be crushed and melted down, Johnson said. 

This buyback was more successful than previous events. A two-week gun buyback in Honolulu in 2000 resulted in just 338 firearms being recovered, according to a 2017 attorney general’s report.

Many of the people who turned in guns on Saturday said they’d had the weapons in their homes for decades or had received them from a now-deceased relative, Johnson said. 

The department is making plans to host more buyback events on neighbor islands as well as another one on Oahu. 

“I commend the public for their participation in this public safety initiative,” Johnson said.

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