BELLEVUE, WA – A new effort announced today by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Washington CeaseFire encouraging businesses to become “gun free zones” is all flash and no substance, and could actually backfire with a rise in violent crime, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

“While businesses have a right to refuse service to people, this is all about political theater rather than public safety,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Our lawsuit prevented McGinn and the city from imposing an illegal gun ban on public property, so he and CeaseFire are using private businesses as their surrogates in a campaign of social bigotry against law-abiding firearms owners.

“What the mayor and CeaseFire are deliberately overlooking,” he continued, “is that the kinds of crimes they are allegedly preventing – the mass shootings they blame on everyone but the perpetrators – all happened in so-called ‘gun free zones.’ Schools, the Colorado movie theater, Trolley Square in Salt Lake City and on and on; in all of these venues, firearms were prohibited, leaving the victims defenseless.

“If these businesses are willing to alienate hundreds of thousands of law-abiding potential customers,” Gottlieb observed, “it’s their bottom line that could ultimately suffer. But if someone is harmed in their premises because they could not defend themselves against a criminal attack, then the business and its owner should be held personally liable by the victims of this foolishness.”

So-called “gun free zones” have never been known to prevent a single violent crime, he noted, and even the CeaseFire president has acknowledged that “this won’t stop someone determined to cause violence but we hope that standing together and giving businesses a tool to say no to guns will change the conversation around gun violence.”

“That is dangerously self-delusional,” Gottlieb stated, “and it is one more exercise of symbolism over substance that makes neighborhoods less safe by creating risk-free environments for robbers, rapists and other criminals.”