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Progressive Seattle mayoral candidate lays out plan to curb gun violence

Police secure the scene of a shooting at 3rd Avenue and Pine Street on Jan. 22, 2020, in the central business district of Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

A 2-year-old girl shot in the parking lot of an Auto Zone at 23rd and Jackson. A 16-year-old boy shot and killed when he answered the front door of his Rainier Beach home. Two young women shot, one fatally, as they waited to pick up a friend in the parking lot of Seattle’s North African American Museum.

Across Seattle and King County, gun violence has risen over the past 15 months. In 2020, there was a 36% increase in shootings, according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, and 2021 is on track to match or surpass that as we head into spring and summer when gun violence generally increases.

2020 gun violence spike in King County has continued, warns prosecutor

The shootings run the gamut involving suspected street level retribution to those with behavioral health issues that carry guns.

Former State Rep. Jessyn Farrell has a plan to address the issue if she is selected from the crowded ballot for Seattle mayor.

“A Seattle without gun violence is possible, if we have the courage and commitment to enacting the policies and funding the programs we know are working right now. The only thing stopping us from achieving that goal is a lack of leadership and resources from City Hall, and that has to change,” said Farrell as she laid out her detailed plan to Omari Salisbury on Converge Media’s Morning Update Show this week.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Establishing the Seattle Office of Violence Prevention
  • Scaling up public investment in community organizations working to prevent violence
  • Banning assault weapons and restrictions on magazine capacity
  • Funding a public education campaign in schools/points of sale to promote safe storage
  • ERPO Expansion to hate speech
  • Disarming hate by funding anti-hate education programs in public schools
  • Expanding restrictions on open-carry in public places like parks and city facilities

“The people dying on our streets don’t have time for incremental progress, they need leaders whose actions demonstrate they understand that even one death from preventable gun violence is unacceptable,” Farrell explained.

To finally end gun violence, Farrell contends “we must build the social, cultural, and economic supports that create healthy and thriving communities for everyone in our city while tearing down systems of oppression, white supremacy, and hate.”

“If we invest in helping communities thrive, treat gun violence as a public health crisis, and bring a renewed and relentless focus on removing dangerous access to firearms – we can and will live in a city with zero shootings,” Farrell said.

She is the first of the more than a dozen mayoral candidates to lay out a detailed gun violence plan, a plan informed by those who’ve long lobbied for groups like the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

The gun rights community got wind of the plan and offered its thoughts.

“As a former state legislator, the self-acknowledged progressive who gets things done should recall Washington has a 36-year-old state preemption statute,” wrote Dave Workman at Liberty Park Press.

“If elected, her literature says she will ‘Support local and state efforts to enact common sense firearm regulations including: banning assault weapons, requiring permits to purchase firearms, restrictions on magazine capacity, and efforts to centralize background checks to a single point of sale,’” Workman wrote.

“It’s the far left gun control wish list,” he added.

These six candidates are pulling in the most money in the race for Seattle’s next mayor

With nearly $87,000, Farrell is currently fifth as far as money raised in the ever-growing list of mayoral hopefuls. She trails behind the likes of current and former City Council Presidents Lorena Gonzales and Bruce Harrell, Andrew Grant Houston, and the current leader by far in raising money Colleen Echohawk, who has more than $366,000.

Follow Hanna Scott on Twitter or email her here

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