It is a crisis that has grown in Seattle, where a full 50% of firearm homicides take the lives of Black residents, primarily young men, a number hugely disproportionate to the population as a whole.
With many struggling to access behavioral health resources – guns become an even more dangerous proposition, where those who are a risk to themselves or others have easy access and few limitations.
Further, this overall rise in gun violence is made worse by recent white supremacist action, creating the need to act on open carry and public intimidation and threat by those who come to our city seeking to do harm. As a community we will have zero tolerance for hate, and zero tolerance for armed intimidation.
I’m running to build on my strong record of gun violence prevention efforts – with new proposals based in evidence-based commonsense solutions and community involvement.
We must take action to reduce gun violence in our city – and across the state and nation. While state preemption laws prevent Seattle from taking unilateral action to ban firearms and firearm use in our city, we can elect a Mayor who will be a strong advocate for responsible gun laws, and will work locally to to address gun crimes and health impacts including:
Establishing an executive-level position to coordinate citywide gun violence prevention policy and coordination, making sure we are working alongside local, regional, state and federal officials and agencies to improve safety and reduce violence.
Improving education and outreach, from making sure residents understand that we are all safer with fewer guns in our homes, to safe storage for those who do legally possess firearms.
Redouble and invest in effective community-led programs that have street-level knowledge and relationships to defuse potentially violent situations, identify potential trouble in advance, and isolate those who would bring guns and violence to our communities. Community action and diversion is the best long term solution we have.
Invest in proven technology to track gunshots and hold offenders accountable, including proven systems like Automatic Gunfire Locator Systems that I advocated for on City Council, and will implement as Mayor through a pilot project to measure effectiveness and ensure protection of rights.
Building and enhancing Seattle’s partnership with King County on firearm enforcement, making sure we employ the data gathering, public health leadership, and law enforcement strategies needed to reduce violence in our homes and communities. I’ll also invest or reinvest in the City’s partnership with the Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit. This partnership is critical and will be one of my priorities.
Fight at the state and federal levels for stronger gun laws, limiting both the number and types of weapons that can enter our city, how they are stored, and where they can be carried. We have to do what is needed to protect our families and peace of mind.