BELLEVUE, WA – Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s immediate reaction to Sunday’s triple homicide at a hookah lounge in the city’s Mount Baker area “was a predictable launch pad for an attack on Washington State’s model firearms preemption law,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“Instead of encouraging people to help police solve this terrible crime and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “Mayor Harrell reminds us he is ‘partnering’ with state lawmakers to ‘end state preemption over firearms’ so the city can adopt policies which, experience tells us, will only impact law-abiding citizens and not prevent a single tragedy.

“Bruce Harrell was on the city council in 2015 when they hastily adopted the city’s notorious tax on gun and ammunition sales,” Gottlieb recalled. “In the years since, homicides have more than doubled in Seattle, the gun tax revenue has never come close to the forecast and the mayor and his allies continue blaming guns when they should be blaming the people misusing those guns.

“Mayor Harrell seems to forget that Seattle did adopt a policy—the gun tax—on the promise it would help prevent gun-related violence and the past eight years have shown it to be a total failure,” he added. “Instead of talking about getting guns off the street, how about focusing on getting criminals off the street?

In a statement posted on his official website, Harrell says Seattle police are “investigating with haste to hold the perpetrators responsible.” He says the city is taking a “holistic approach” to dealing with the challenge of violent crime in the city.

“The mayor and city council can take any approach they desire,” Gottlieb observed, “but when they promote and adopt social policies which the public, especially the criminal element, see as soft on crime, at the end of the day all they are doing is pontificating. Preemption has provided uniformity in state gun laws for nearly 40 years, and what seems to escape Mayor Harrell and other gun control advocates is that you cannot prevent violent crime by penalizing people who don’t commit crime, or by repealing a law which protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners from one state border to the other.”