Sheriff’s office collects firearms, drugs at Thurston event

Staff writerOctober 26, 2013 

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office collected seven firearms, about 150 pounds of prescription drugs and several thousand rounds of ammunition Saturday as part of a firearm and drug take-back day.

Saturday’s mission at McLane Black Lake Fire Department headquarters on Delphi Road: to collect unwanted guns, prescription drugs and ammunition so that they don’t fall into the wrong hands — such as during a residence burglary — or don’t get inappropriately disposed of, sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Brady said.

Saturday also was National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

This was the second event this year to collect guns and ammunition. A similar event in January brought in about 25 firearms and three, five gallon buckets of ammunition, Brady said. No names or contact information were required of those who dropped off the firearms, drugs or ammo.

Such events have become more common across the country following the 26 shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last year.

People began visiting the dropoff location just before 10 a.m., bringing mostly prescription drugs, but sheriff’s deputies had also collected a shotgun, a rifle and a handgun by about noon.

The event ended at 2 p.m.

One man, who said he was in his 70s, dropped off a box of old ammunition, including rounds that were as old as he was, he said. He declined to share his name.

Jim Racle of Olympia dropped off about 20 containers of prescription drugs — medication his wife took until she passed away July 30, he said.

Racle said he was “waiting for a place to take them” because he didn’t want to flush them down the toilet.

Brady said the ammunition will be turned over to the Washington State Patrol bomb squad and that the prescription drugs will be incinerated. One of two things can happen with the firearms: they can be destroyed at the owner’s request, or the owner is asked whether the Sheriff’s Office can trade them to a firearms dealer in exchange for ammunition for deputy training.

Prescription drugs can be dropped off every day at several locations in Thurston County. For more information, go to takebackyourmeds.org.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403
rboone@theolympian.com

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