Seattle police are tracking down the history of a nonfunctional missile launcher that showed up at a weapons buyback program.
Detective Mark Jamieson says a man standing outside the event on Saturday bought the military weapon for $100 from another person there. The single-use device had already been used. It's a launch tube assembly for a Stinger portable surface-to-air missile.
He says detectives will notify the Army Criminal Investigation Command on Monday.
Jamieson says the launcher is a controlled military item that's not available to civilians through any surplus or disposal program offered by the government. He says it's most likely that the launch tube was previously obtained unlawfully from the military and would likely be returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The event itself was considered a success for organizers, with long lines of people showing up to exchange unwanted guns for gift cards worth up to $200.
Gift cards worth $100 were issued for handguns, shotguns and rifles, while assault-style weapons were worth up to $200.
The city of Seattle collected donations of nearly $120,000 to pay for the event. The first one used about $85,000 and a second buyback event is already in the works.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, along with The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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