BELLEVUE, WA – Had it not been for a Seattle ordinance that forbids police officers from routinely ascertaining a suspect’s immigration status, Monday’s murder-suicide at the University of Washington might have been prevented because the perpetrator would have been deported months ago, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Seattle newspapers reported Thursday morning that gunman Jonathan Rowan had been living in this country illegally for more than ten years. Stopped for drunken driving last June 30 by Seattle police, his residency status could have been determined, were it not for Seattle’s ridiculous policy. Generically called “Sanctuary Laws,” they tie the hands of police and allow foreign nationals a free pass to stay here illegally.

“The murder of Rebecca Griego was a horrible tragedy that did not have to happen,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “Unfortunately, liberal politicians who dominate Seattle government feel more comfortable trying to harass law-abiding firearms owners than looking for dangerous illegal aliens in our midst. Rowan was a prime example of why such ordinances should be abolished. It is because of policies like this – that protect people like Rowan – that honest citizens want to arm themselves.”

“The Northwest has a particular problem with violent illegal aliens,” added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “The last three peace officers killed in eastern Washington all died at the hands of illegal aliens. An illegal alien named Hector Francisco Diaz killed a man in Everett last November. Prosecutors in Snohomish County won’t charge him with murder because they believe he acted in self-defense, but he remains in jail on drug trafficking charges.

“These are the kinds of people that Seattle’s sanctuary law ultimately protects,” Waldron stated. “It’s a disgrace that the privacy of foreign criminals is more important than the safety of citizens.”

“Gun control fanatics like Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels often advocate ridiculous laws to inconvenience law-abiding firearms owners; you know, American citizens,” Gottlieb said, “on the grounds that ‘if it saves just one life, it’s worth it.’ Seattle’s sanctuary law may have cost Rebecca Griego her life. These laws need to be repealed, starting right now, right here. If Seattle’s city council does not repeal this law immediately, they send a signal that protecting criminals who are here illegally has a higher priority than protecting innocent lives.”