King County, WA Illustrates Failure of Gun Control Laws

WA Appeals Court Unanimously Upholds Preemption in SAF Lawsuit, iStock-884168778
Gun control in Washington has been a failure, says the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and date from the King County Prosecutor’s Office supports that contention. iStock-884168778

U.S.A.-( King County, Washington is the hub of gun control extremism in the Pacific Northwest and by no small coincidence, according to new violent crime data released by County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s office, it is also seeing a “sharp spike” in gun-related violence.

Almost immediately after the announcement, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which is headquartered in King County, came out swinging.

“Nothing more clearly illustrates gun control’s lack of success than the situation in King County,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It is reflective of the national trend revealed in the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2020, showing murders up by 30 percent nationwide. If restricting the gun rights of law-abiding citizens worked, this should not be the case.”

He took a swipe at the Seattle-based and billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby which has pushed through two restrictive gun control initiatives since 2014.

“Let’s look at the embarrassing data,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement. “According to the report, this year’s 73 gun-related homicides in King County so far have already surpassed last year’s total of 69, and there are still more than two months to go in 2021. Last year Seattle saw 52 murders, and the year before that there were 35. Seattle’s gun tax took effect in 2016, and that year the city reported just 19 murders.”

He reminded the media that anti-gun Initiative 594, mandating so-called “universal background checks” on all firearms transfers in Washington State, was passed in 2014. The following year, Seattle adopted a “gun violence tax” on the sale of firearms and ammunition. In 2018, Seattle’s elitist gun ban lobby financed another anti-gun initiative (I-1639), inventing a definition for “semiautomatic assault rifles” and prohibiting sales of such firearms to anyone under age 21. Instead of reducing homicides, the number of murders has crept upward. Ironically, Satterberg supported I-594 and according to Ballotpedia, he helped prepare arguments for the measure. Ballotpedia also reports King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht helped write arguments in the 2018 Voters’ Guide supporting I-1639. A majority of Washington’s 39 county sheriffs opposed the measure.

“Statewide,” Gottlieb said, “gun control has likewise failed. In 2015, the first full year after I-594 was passed, the state reported 209 slayings, of which 141 involved firearms, according to FBI data. Last year, according to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the state saw 302 murders, and their data shows 178 involving firearms. FBI data for 2019 shows 135 homicides involving firearms, so that’s quite a jump.”

“Instead of using this data to push for even harsher laws,” Gottlieb suggested, “it is time for the gun prohibition lobby, not just in Washington but across the country, to admit their agenda has failed. It’s time to scrap extremist gun control laws and try something else like supporting our police and locking up violent criminals.”

Gottlieb was an outspoken proponent of “Three Strikes” and “Hard Time for Armed Crime” laws 25 years ago. He opposed both gun control initiatives, insisting at the time that they would not fulfill expectations of reduced violent crime. Time and the data have proven him correct.

According to the Seattle Times, “People of color, especially young Black men, continue to be disproportionately affected by gun violence, as has been reported in previous years.”

Incredibly, Satterberg said during a Zoom press conference in which AmmoLand participated, his office doesn’t focus on the ethnicities of shooters in these cases.

The Seattle Times also noted that the bulk of information for his office’s report came from police agencies in Seattle, Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Des Moines and Federal Way, and the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The rise in shootings and homicides comes at a time when Seattle is among the police agencies that have lost officers. At least 250 officers have left the Seattle department over the past 19 months.

“I’m concerned they’re stretched so very thin at this time when we need that kind of help both on the older cases, and these newer cases that are coming forward,” Satterberg told KIRO News.

One thing that has become evident is that more people in King County are arming themselves. Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, King County reported 103,700 active concealed pistol licenses. That number plummeted during the pandemic because law enforcement agencies were not taking new applications, and apparently many people could not renew their existing licenses. At the end of April, the county reported 95,044 active CPLs, according to data from the state Department of Licensing.

But there has been a resurgence over the summer months and into the fall. By Sept. 30, more than 3,000 King County residents have renewed or obtained carry licenses, and the number is up to more than 98,000, of which roughly 20 percent are women.

There was no immediate reaction from Seattle-based anti-gunners.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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“gun related violence” – did that term come from Satterberg’s office? If it did, we are evidently making a bit of progress in changing the narrative away from “gun violence” – might be baby steps but still progress at any rate ‘-)


I frequently use “violence in which a gun was used”, though I prefer simply “violence”. Who cares whether you were shot (firearm, bow, crossbow or nail gun), stabbed or clubbed? What matters is extent of injuries or death. Dead is dead and murder is murder, tools used are irrelevant.

In cases of self defense, media does not like to mention use of a gun – though they crow over events where firearms were not used. They miss the irony of pointing out when having a gun does not empower a criminal — while claiming guns make all the difference.


I prefer simply “violent crime” and “criminal violence”.

Arizona Don

There are over ten thousand restrictive gun laws on the books in America. None, not even one, has ever done what it was passed for and yet they remain on the books. For nearly a hundred years now restrictive gun laws have been tried under the guise of curtailing crime. It has not worked in fact those restrictive gun laws make it worse. However curtailing crime in any way is not the real goal here. Gun confiscation is.  So those making these laws do not want them to work as passed. If they did there would be no need for more. Remember it is the dribble that… Read more »


I have friends telling me they won’t vote because their votes aren’t counted, based on what they saw in the last Presidential. Don’t let anything convince you not to exercise your vote. Particularly here in Washington state you don’t even need to get in the car, heck a couple years ago they made it so you don’t even have to buy a stamp. Send the ballot in. If it get’s fed to a meth addicts propane torch you have at least done the part that history requires of you. And it’s ridiculously easy, you’re not zigzagging across a beach in… Read more »

Wild Bill

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“disproportionally affected by *ahem* gun violence”. I’m sure the Seattle Times writer meant “disproportionally committing violence using guns”? Surely they don’t mean guns are lurking in alleyways to jump out and victimize POC…


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