A man standing outside a weapons buyback event in Seattle on Saturday bought a missile launcher for $100 from another person, reports SeattlePI.com.
As a controlled military item, the missile launcher is not available to civilians through any surplus or disposal programs.
The military weapon was a single-use device and had already been used. The weapon was confiscated by police, and they replaced it with a gift card.
Police said the missile launcher was taken to determine what exactly it was and that the non-functioning weapon could be later returned to the man.
Army spokesman Joe Kubistek said today: “Once it’s brought on base and investigators have a chance to look at it, they’ll see what they can determine. It’s too early to give any information on it until we have hands-on access to see it and take a look at it.”
The man who bought the missle launcher was among many people who were at the gun buyback offering money to people for guns.
Police officers saw guns changing private hands without the seller knowing whether the buyer had the legal right to buy it, said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Mayor McGinn said at a news conference on Monday: “It was absolutely crazy what we saw out there.”
Mayor McGinn added that the private sales of the missile launcher and other weapons show the need for comprehensive background checks as proposed by President Obama.
Deputy Chief of Police Nick Metz said: “These are very dangerous weapons. They may not have looked very pretty, but [they’re] definitely operable.”
The firearms collected at the event included 348 pistols, 364 rifles and three shotguns that include a high capacity magazine capable of holding twelve 12-gauge shotgun shells.
The program allowed people to anonymously turn in their weapons for a shopping gift cards up to $200. The program handed out $80,000 worth of gift cards.