by: Jeff Dubois Updated:
SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn and Washington Ceasefire Board President Ralph Fascitelli launched the Seattle Gun Free Zone program Monday morning at Oddfellows Cafe & Bar on Capitol Hill.
>>> Essex Porter attended the official launch of the Gun Free Zone Program and will be asking McGinn and Fascitelli about the program. Watch KIRO 7 Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. for a full report.
Several businesses have signed up for the voluntary program: 5 Point Café, Barboza, Big Mario's Pizza, Brenthaven, Bus Stop Espresso, Café Paloma, Café Racer, Century Ballroom, Elliott Bay Books, First United Methodist Church, Fish Fry, Freddy's Junior, Havana, Linda's, Lost Lake Café & Lounge, Manhattan Seattle, Moe Bar, all six locations of Molly Moons, Neumo's, Nube Green, Oddfellows, Office Nomads, Platinum Records, Quinn's, Smith, Southern Street Kids, Sweatbox Yoga, The Saint, Totokaelo and Zoe.
Cities in Washington can't pre-empt state gun laws, but businesses can prohibit guns.
Businesses can opt into the program by visiting washingtonceasefire.org, signing the pledge to participate, and placing a "Gun Free Zone" decal in their window.
Fascitelli said that every business that Ceasefire has approached about the program has been positive about it.
The program is designed to address "the culture of violence," said Fascitelli, who likened Ceasefire's "cultural war" to the war MADD has fought against drinking and driving.
"Businesses have a right, as private proprietors," to disallow guns, Fascitelli said.
McGinn said that the program mirrored the values of Seattle residents.
Banning guns from individual businesses is a hot-button topic, especially with a controversial policy at Starbucks that allows customers to openly display their guns.
Gun rights advocates say the program won't reduce gun violence and will only alienate customers.
Packing heat? Some businesses may not let you shop at their store
Things to Know about deadly shootings at mall in Washington
Shooting sows terror at Washington mall; shooter on loose
Spike Lee pays tribute to Bill Nunn, best known as Radio Raheem
The Latest: 'Thankful for my life' after mall shooting