Seattle Councilman working to tighten gun laws

Seattle Councilman working to tighten gun laws
SEATTLE -- After the recent shootings in Connecticut and Clackamas County, Ore., Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell says the public needs a bold call for change.

"I think right now people are wondering, how are the wrong people getting guns?" Harrell asked.

Harrell wants to start the initiative process to change state law, and give local cities the power to set their own specific gun laws. If the law changed, the city council would require gun safety classes for concealed permits, trigger locks and safes and beefier data collection.

It would take 240,000 signatures to get the process rolling, just like regular ballot initiatives. Gun rights advocates say tighter rules help only in some cases, but consistency is better.

"There should be no checkerboard pattern of different gun regulations across the state," said Dave Workman with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Workman says Harrell's intentions are laudable, but that they aren't practical regulations to prevent deaths.

"They haven't worked. None of them have worked. None of them have stopped these high profile shootings over the years," he said.

Workman points out existing restrictions didn't prevent violence at Virginia Tech, Clackamas Town Center or Connecticut.

"They took place in gun-free zones. Where people couldn't fight back," Workman said.

Harrell counters by saying the best way is to stop a shooter before he starts -- and let cities decide what's best for the public.

"I think it's time for our local jurisdictions to have control in this area," he said.