Gun Free Zone Program
What is Washington CeaseFire’s Gun Free Zone program?
Private business owners choose to designate their place of business as “gun free,” thus providing a safer, more hospitable environment for their employees and customers. Washington CeaseFire’s Gun Free Zone program was established in collaboration with City of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s office in August 2013.
Why does the program exist?
A growing body of evidence shows that communities with higher rates of gun ownership, or lax gun laws, have higher rates of homicides, suicides, and violent crime. The myth that more guns somehow result in “safer” communities and environments is exactly that – a myth. Many people prefer the peace of mind of being in an area without firearms.
Can I restrict people from bringing firearms into my business?
Yes. Private businesses can legally request patrons and staff to refrain from bringing firearms into their establishment.
How does the Gun Free Zone program work?
Businesses that choose to participate in the Gun Free Zone program simply display Gun Free Zone decals on their doors or windows, thereby notifying customers that the establishment is an environment free of firearms. Businesses are not expected to conduct any type of enforcement activities. Washington CeaseFire will provide the decals after receipt of a form acknowledging support for the program.
Who is still allowed to bring firearms into my business if I sign up for the program?
The Gun Free Zone program is not intended to prevent law enforcement, military personnel, or others with a job-related requirement to carry a firearm, from entering private businesses as necessary.
How many businesses participate in the program?
We estimate that over 100 businesses have participated since the program’s inception.
What feedback have you gotten about the program?
Customers and employees alike appreciate spending time in safe, firearm-free environments.
How can businesses sign-up for the Gun Free Zone program?
Gun Free Zone sign-up packets can be requested from Washington CeaseFire using the contact information below. Please fill out the Gun Free Zone pledge/ sign-up sheet and return it to Washington CeaseFire by email or postal service mail. Indicate the number of decals you need. There is no cost to participate.
What are the benefits of participating in the Gun Free Zone program?
Businesses that sign-up for the Gun Free Zone program have a competitive advantage by appealing to the majority of customers and families who prefer to interact in safe, firearm-free environments. Washington CeaseFire – with your permission – can help promote your business on social media, in periodic newsletters, and by word of mouth, at no cost to you.
The Gun Free Zone program is voluntary, and to date over a hundred businesses have participated. Businesses interested in joining the Gun Free Zone program can contact Washington CeaseFire at firstname.lastname@example.org.