Seattle councilmembers ready to take on gun laws

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Updated Thursday, May 31 at 7:52 PM

In the wake of gun violence that killed six people in Seattle, some city councilmembers want to take a closer look at gun laws at both the state and local level.

City councilmember Jean Godden called on the state legislature Thursday to start looking at changing gun laws. Currently, state law reads, "Local laws that are...more restrictive than state law shall not be enacted."

"Seattle's hands are tied in trying to tighten our gun laws," Godden said.

Gunman Ian Stawicki shot five people, killing four of them, at a Ravenna neighborhood cafe Wednesday. Following that incident, he fled to First Hill where police said he shot and killed a Bellevue woman. Stawicki later killed himself in a West Seattle neighborhood.

During a press conference Wednesday as the shooting unfolded, councilman Bruce Harrell also addressed gun laws and said as chair of Seattle's Public Safety Committee, he will help take on smarter gun laws.

"We will be looking closely at whether a person's right to carry or their ability to carry when they are younger than 21...whether our laws are effective and enforceable," he said.

Also at the press conference, Mayor Mike McGinn said it will take more than revisions to laws to end Seattle's recent streak of violence.

"It's also going to take a focus on the laws that make it too easy for people to acquire guns. And it's also going to take a full partnership of the community to end the culture of violence where young men believe its okay to resolve disputes with violence including guns," he said.

"There is no easy fix, it can't just be done with one simple theory of crime prevention," said Harrell.

KING 5's Linda Brill and Lindsay Chamberlain contributed to this report.

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