SeaTac apartment residents meet to discuss gun laws

04:51 PM PDT on Saturday, March 28, 2009


SEATAC, Wash. - Some SeaTac apartment residents have a hard time forgetting the shooting which injured two people last month.

"It was a little unnerving," says James Beal, "I heard six shots."

Beal was home when a 17-year-old opened fire on a group of people. He's now trying to rally his neighbors together, while making a pitch about how he protects himself.

"I carry a weapon for personal protection as most people here do, and we feel it our option under the Second Amendment,” he said.

Beal helped sponsor a gathering Saturday at the Willow Lake Apartments, which he says was designed as a way to bring people together, to organize neighborhood "block watches” and talk about gun laws.

"I'm not advising it,” Beal said. “I'm just making sure people are aware they have the option.”

Roughly 40 people were there about mid-day, and a vast majority of them were carrying weapons.

Kristen Comer, of Operation Ceasefire, approves of Beal's effort to bring together the community to discuss the issues. But she says neighbors should ask themselves how comfortable they'd be with several apartment dwellers carrying guns.

"For the vast majority of residents in this area, is that what they want?” she said. “Do they want their neighbors walking around with the sidearms on their persons at all times?"

She believes organizers should be more focused on curbing access to guns on the secondary market.

King County Sheriff's Department Sergeant John Urquhart says anyone buying a gun should think long and hard about it.

"It's legal under state and federal law," Urquhart said. "But if you use your gun to scare or intimidate, that's violating another law, so be very careful."

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