King County cops teaming up to fight rise in gun violence

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In August 2015, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales in the city, and to require gun owners to report lost and stolen firearms to police. At the time, council president Tim Burgess said this: “Gun violence is a public-health crisis in our city and our nation. City government can and must pursue innovative gun-safety measures that save lives and save money.”
It’s been two years since that gun tax was adopted. And it’s working about as well as you would expect…
From In his 4 ½ years as King County sheriff, John Urquhart cannot recall a time or an issue that brought together nearly every high-ranking law enforcement official in the Puget Sound region. Until Wednesday, when the region’s recent rise in gun violence put local and federal law enforcement in one room.
Most recently, there were six shootings in two days in the Seattle region. The issue is so severe that Urquhart was blunt while speaking with KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don.
“Young people with guns, that’s exactly what it is … my message to parents is if you think your kids are out there with guns – and I think most parents know – you better put a stop to it, even if you have to call us,” Urquhart said. “Because if you don’t, they are going to get killed. Either we are going to kill them – which is what happened in Seattle two weeks ago – or other people out there, other kids with guns are going to kill them. That’s how serious this is. We don’t want to kill them, we don’t want your kid to get killed. Do something about it.”
The meeting on Wednesday brought together the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Police Department, ATF, DEA, FBI, the DOC, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal’s Office — each discussing how they have noticed the rise in gun violence.
“There has been an uptick in some gang activity,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole told KIRO 7. “…We had the death of an innocent 16-year-old girl here, just around the corner. We had an elderly couple in the middle of the night that were subject to gunfire. It has to stop. The community is not going to tolerate it, and the police department is not going to tolerate it.”
Urquhart wouldn’t say exactly what tactics are going to be used moving forward, but he did provide some insight. “They are real simple: Boots on the ground,” he said. “We’re are going to go out there and if you have got guns, if you are shooting people, if you are doing drive-bys, we are going to find you and we are going to arrest you, and we are going to work together to find out who is doing this.”
King County gun violence
In just the first four months of 2017, the King County Sheriff’s Office has already logged a considerable number of firearm-related incidents in unincorporated parts of the county. The sheriff did not have the numbers from previous years on hand, but did say that they are “way up.”

  • 14 homicides
  • 40 shootings (people struck by gunfire, but survived)
  • 100 drive-by shootings
  • A total of 120 shots fired were reported to 911 in cities that the sheriff covers (Des Moines, Kent, etc.)

The numbers do not reflect Seattle’s statistics. Seattle shots fired in a 12-month period starting in April:

  • 2013: 73 reports
  • 2014: 76 reports
  • 2015: 113 reports
  • 2016: 103 reports
  • 2017: 119 reports

“The only common denominator is all the guns,” Urquhart said. “Individuals, groups of people, some gangs involved, but not 100 percent. It would be a mistake to say that this is a gang problem, because that is not exactly what this is in every situation.”
“This could be as simple as somebody disrespecting somebody else’s mother or somebody else’s girlfriend … There’s no one situation that applies to all this violence except that everybody has guns and they are shooting people,” he said. “They are shooting innocent people and they are shooting up houses.”

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0 responses to “King County cops teaming up to fight rise in gun violence

  1. We have to obey and respect the law officers in our community. Our support makes them confident of the service they provide to the community, they too, have families to go to at the end of the shift, burdened by the assaults on them and the uncertainty if they will return home safe -on duty for them is every waking hour of the day, they shop at the same stores we shop, their children attend the same schools as ours, their families are just like ours, he may be your next door neighbor. We must cooperate with them and not be afraid of the criminal element in every corner. Show love and gratitude because they, with our help, make our communities a safe place.

  2. 6 shootings in two days , in Chicago that would be called a peace treaty . Big deal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Uh-huh, “ban guns” is where they’re going with this… just like Chicago!

  4. Lol inviting the fedz to the local news release. They’re the ones who drop off the crates of arms for the criminals to find in the first place.

  5. How do you collect a tax on a stolen or Black Market gun used by a gang member???? Of the people that were caught using guns to commit crimes,,,,, How many were used by the actual legal gun OWNER??? One last question, How many of these counsel members are themselves armed with a gun or how many have assigned armed body guards??

  6. How will they know if someone DOESN’T report their gun stolen? Maybe they’ll start going door to door to make sure every gun owner still HAS his gun….(sarc)

  7. Seattle, so much rain your brain gets moldy.

  8. Charles Bates

    It’s not guns, it’s thug life!

  9. “The only common denominator is all the guns,” Urquhart said.”
    LOL! There is probably a very significant common denominator that is too politically incorrect to mention. Possibly something about “teens” or some such euphenism…


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