BELLEVUE, WA – Homicide statistics for 2008 in Seattle do not justify a proposal by anti-gun Mayor Greg Nickels to ban legally-carried handguns from public property, nor his plan to lobby for a change in the state’s preemption law, the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation said today.

“Less than half of Seattle’s homicides in 2008 involved firearms,” noted SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “and about one-third were gang-related. Yet Mayor Nickels would have the public believe there is a dire need to violate state statute and the civil rights of law-abiding gun owners, by challenging a state preemption statute that has stood for more than two decades as a model of efficiency and effectiveness that other states have copied.”

Gottlieb noted that Seattle’s 28 homicides pale in comparison to those logged in similar-sized cities, where concealed carry is forbidden. Milwaukee, WI reported 71 homicides in 2008, and Washington, D.C. posted 186 killings. Only in Seattle may citizens legally carry concealed handguns. In Baltimore, MD, where it is virtually impossible to get a carry license, there were 234 slayings last year.

“The figures from those other cities are staggering,” Gottlieb observed. “Yet in Seattle, where thousands of residents and thousands more visitors from all over the state, come and go legally armed, Nickels claims there is a public safety issue.

“Mayor Nickels is using one isolated non-fatal incident at last year’s Folklife Festival to push an agenda item for Washington CeaseFire,” he suggested. “Perhaps the mayor is trying to deflect public attention from his outrageous failures as a leader, from losing a professional basketball franchise to being unable to replace the aging Viaduct, and finally being forced to flip-flop on such a simple problem as snow removal.

“Nickels is firing blanks,” Gottlieb said. “He should channel his energy to disarming gangs and locking up their members, not harassing law-abiding citizens.”