Ensuring Social Justice
Gun Safety

Support measures to increase public safety and reduce suicides.

Issue Team Chair: 
 DOWNLOAD the Gun Safety Issue Paper
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Right Now in Gun Safety

Bills That Passed

SB 5038 The bill passed on the House floor Sunday on a party line vote after five hours of debate and several amendments proposed. The bill will ban openly carried weapons at the Capitol campus and at permitted demonstrations or rallies on public property. The bill will increase public safety and ensure civil unintimidated freedom of expression. Washington communities, especially those in rural areas, are experiencing increased confrontations by firearms carrying groups at public rallies and demonstrations. 

Amendments approved in the House include an emergency clause, which would make the bill effective immediately after the governor’s signature and eliminate a possible referendum. Please urge your senator to concur with amendments. Concurrence by the originating house is required when there are changes or amendments approved by the second House vote. The concurrence protocol starts the day after cutoff (April 11 for policy bills) and can continue until the end of session. 

 UPDATE Before reaching the governor’s desk, the bill will go to concurrence in the Senate because of the amendments made in the House. No date has been set as of this writing, but Sen. Kuderer, the prime sponsor, expects it to be heard next week. She supports the amendments, including the emergency clause which would preclude a referendum. Though the League normally opposes emergency clauses, this bill is critical to public safety in this time of political polarization. 

Action Alert Bill passed Senate concurrence on a party line vote. It now goes to the governor for his signature. Please email or call the governor’s office and urge him to sign the bill promptly—(360) 902-4111.

Bills That Did Not Survive

    HB 1074 Regarding overdose and suicide reviews. Substitute bill passed House 96-0-2. Referred to the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee. Bill did not emerge from the Rules Committee. No action taken as of this writing.

    HB 1038  Prohibiting possession of firearms by persons convicted of certain criminal offenses. Bill passed to the Senate Rules Committee for second reading. Bill did not meet cutoff requirement.

    Bills That Missed the Cutoff

      HB 1234 Similar in intent to 5038 but coverage limited to state Capitol grounds and designated government buildings. No hearing scheduled.

      SB 5217 Attorney General request. Companion bill HB1229. No person in this state may manufacture, possess, distribute, import, transfer, sell, offer for sale, purchase or otherwise transfer any assault weapon, except as authorized.

      HB 1133 Reporting lost or stolen firearms.  Requires lost or stolen firearms be reported to local law enforcement where loss occurred within five days, including make, model, serial number, caliber, and circumstances relating to loss. Similar local legislation enacted in Seattle and King County.

      HB 1134 Concerning the disposition of forfeited firearms by the Washington State Patrol. Concerns forfeiture of firearms to the Washington State Patrol and limits amount of proceeds from auctions/transfers that local law enforcement is allowed.

      HB 1283 Regarding penalties for three or more persons knowingly and unlawfully using threats or force against another person or property.

      HB 1164 Addressing firearm safety measures to increase public safety. This is the third year this issue has been introduced as an Attorney General Request. Despite high public approval, this bill has not received a floor vote the past two years though it has passed out of committee. Bill is different from last year due to Ninth Circuit court decision regarding California law. Bill prohibits manufacture, possession, distribution, importation, selling, offering for sales, purchasing or transfer of large capacity magazines. Exceptions allow continued possession limited to possession prior to effective date and inheritance on or after the effective date. High-capacity now is defined as capable of holding 17 or more rounds. Please urge your representatives that this bill should not be backburnered-again. This is the third year that high-capacity magazine legislation has passed out of committee and remains contentious. Don’t let that happen again this session!

      SB 5078 Addressing firearm safety measures to increase public safety. Similar wording and regulation as HB 1164. Bans possession, transfer, manufacture of high-capacity ammunition magazines after effective date. Exceptions including those legally acquired before effective date. Bill passed out of committee and is now on second reading in the Rules Committee. To see if your senator is on the Rules Committee, go here. Urge your senator to bring this to the floor with adequate time to pass in the House. As of this writing Friday evening, leadership is trying to nail down additional votes to bring it to the floor. We should not have to wait until the next session to pass restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

      Other Good News

        2SSB 5327 This bill creates a confidential youth safety and well-being tip lineBill passed unanimously in the Senate. This bill has bipartisan sponsors and support.

        Amendment to the engrossed substitute in the House requires the Children and Behavioral Work Group to convene a youth safety and well-being statewide reporting tool. The work group report completed by the Attorney General’s Office must provide a report to the Legislature and the governor by Nov. 1. The report will include recommendations regarding a youth safety and well-being tip line. The bill passed out of committee on a 7-6 vote.

        Twenty states have similar tip lines which have saved lives and prevented youth suicides. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24. LWVWA does not have a position that would be applicable to bill, but the issue chair feels this is important for you to know about and possibly comment on as an individual.

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