100 Businesses Join Seattle’s Gun-Free Zone; Will It Prevent Crime?


Yesterday, a movie theater became the 100th Seattle business to join a gun-free-zone sponsored by the city and Washington CeaseFire, reports the Seattle Times. Mayor Mike McGinn said that since the program started in August, almost one business a day has signed up. Cafe Racer, where a mentally ill customer shot and killed four people last year, was one of the first businesses to join. Backers acknowledge that businesses posting a gun-free zone sticker won't stop a determined killer, but they hope that removing guns from local bars and stores helps ensure that “an argument doesn't turn into a funeral,” said Ralph Fascitelli of Washington CeaseFire.

State law prohibits municipalities from adopting their own gun laws, but businesses have the right to set conditions for entry, such as requiring shirts and shoes. Gun-rights advocates are skeptical that the effort will produce any results. “I haven't seen any indication that a private business saying it's off-limits to firearms has prevented a single crime,” said Dave Workman of The Gun Mag, who has written about the right to bear arms for 20 years. Workman pointed to speculation that the Aurora, Co., movie- theater shooter chose that location out of several other movie theaters in the area because it did not allow guns.

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