- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is partnering with Washington CeaseFire to launch a new campaign designed to help local businesses become gun-free zones, King 5 News first reported.

Businesses can opt into the program by signing a pledge to participate and placing a “Gun Free Zone” decal in their window.

“We are here to support businesses that do not wish to have guns on their premises” Mr. McGinn said in a statement. “The police department regularly enforces trespass laws when a visitor to a business violates that business’s rules. We will continue to do so, and I thank these businesses for standing up for the safety of their customers.”

Dozens of businesses have already signed up to participate, according to the website.

“We recognize that gun violence is a significant public health issue and that the presence of a gun can quickly escalate an altercation into a lethal event,” the pledge reads. “We are proud to participate in Seattle’s Gun Free Zone program, with the goal of keeping our patrons as safe as possible. Firearms of all types in the possession of civilians, including those with concealed weapons permits, will not be allowed on our premises.”

CeaseFire President Ralph Fascitelli said more needs to be done to “address the culture of violence.”

“I think we’ve all been disappointed that, in the wake of Sandy Hook, nothing got done in Olympia,” the Washington state capital, he said.

The most recent report from the King County medical examiner’s office revealed the combined number of gun-related homicides, suicides and accidental shootings was 1,455, compared with 1,770 traffic-related deaths, between 2002 and 2011, King 5 News reported.

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