Measure Would Ban Gun Shows At Center
Controversy over a commercial gun show this weekend at the Seattle Center has spurred members of the Seattle City Council to consider policies prohibiting gun-sale events on certain municipal properties.
Councilwomen Margaret Pageler and Sue Donaldson announced the resolution yesterday at a press conference, saying the sale of guns at the Seattle Center was inconsistent with the center's family-oriented mission.
A resolution directs the Center and other city facilities with a family-oriented atmosphere to avoid events where guns will be sold.
The resolution is a response to public concern over the gun show to be held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Children will be admitted to the show, although those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
"It is unconscionable that firearms would be for sale in the Seattle Center - a place for families, not firearms," said Steve Roberts, a member of Peace Action of Washington, a group working to reduce gun violence.
The resolution does not infringe on free-speech rights, Pageler said.
"This is a commercial venture, and they don't need a public place - a taxpayer-funded place - to hold those shows," she said.
But a local organization defending gun-owners' rights claims the resolution is biased.
"My problem with the resolution is that the Seattle Center and other city property is public property, and they're limiting the use of that based on political preferences," said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation.
The national foundation conducts research and legal defense for gun owners. "They're biased against the buying and selling of firearms . . . I'm sure they wouldn't have problems with (those) selling stamps, coins and other collectibles."
The Seattle Center also is not just for kids and families, Gottlieb said. "If they had a gay-rights meeting there, (the City Council) would have no problems with it," he said. ". . . It's multi-purpose oriented. And it should be."
Representatives from Code of the West Productions, the California-based company staging the show and sale, were en route to Seattle and could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The council is to vote on the resolution either this Monday or Monday, June 19, , Pageler said.
A majority of the council supports the resolution, she said. If the council passes it and the mayor signs it, the resolution would go into effect 30 days after the mayor's signature.
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