Ensuring Social Justice
Gun Safety

Limit accessibility of firearms, including assault-style weapons and high capacity clips. Enact safe storage requirements for guns.

Issue Team Chair: Pat Griffith, pgriffith@lwvwa.org(206) 285-2452
DOWNLOAD the Gun Safety Issue Paper
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2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up

(Interested in the 2019 Session Recap? Click Here)

With fear of the corona virus spiking gun sales, legislative measures in the recently closed session seem safe.  On the national level the president and gun rights supporters have rolled out a strong lobbying effort to have gun dealers classified as “essential” services. Our governor has remained strong in closing gun dealers as non-essential. The presidential order is not a mandate.

Bills that we supported and passed both houses appear to have been signed. Funding for the centralized background checks by the state patrol is still in the budget. Also funding for the Office of Gun Violence Prevention also appears safe – for now- but a special session may need to make additional cuts in the budget for new programs.

With increased isolation for families in domestic violence situations, new procedures enacted this session to assure compliance with removal of weapons are likely to protect potential victims. Also related are new procedures in King County for family members to apply online for protection orders rather than to appear in-person to file.

Biggest disappointment this session is failure once again to get a vote on restriction of ammunition and high capacity magazines.

Click on Bill # for detailed information.  See UPDATES below.

Bills the League Supported That Have Been Signed Into Law

  • SB 6288 Creates Washington Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. Executive Session held 1/23 in Senate Law and Justice. Passed by Committee; referred to Ways & Means. Substitute bill adds researchers and authorizes appointment of an independent entity experienced in evaluation. Bill creates data collection protocol under Department of Commerce on gun violence in state, including suicides, and works to prevent gun violence through advocacy organizations that have proved successful in other major cities. 
  • HB 2467 Creates a single point of contact background system for firearm transfers. 
  • ESSB 5434 Reintroduced by resolution. Prohibits a person from carrying or possessing weapons including firearms, air guns/pistols, stun guns at licensed child care centers and center-provided transportation. Also includes premises of libraries, local government neighborhood centers, regional park facilities where youth are likely to be present. On third reading in Rules Committee. Companion bill HB1530 in committee. This may be a first for child care centers in the US.
Bills the League Supported That Did Not Pass
    • HB 2241  Regulates sale and possession of high capacity magazines after effective date and bans sale/transfer/manufacture/distribution of assault-style weapons. Does not affect current owners. 
    • HB 2519 Concerns reasonable public safety measures to prevent dangerous individuals from acquiring ammunition. 
    • HB1315  Sets requirements for concealed pistol training for concealed permits. Current law does not require any training. Forty states have similar requirement for concealed pistol licensing. Opponents feel this is an encumbrance on persons legally obtaining permits. 
    • HB 1374  Permits local municipalities to build restrictions on weapons based on their individual needs. Bill modifies current preemption law. 
    • HB 2240  Regulates high capacity magazines. This measure did not get a vote in the last session. Bill is a request from Attorney General and Governor. 
    • SB 6163 Unlawful possession of firearms by persons free on bond or personal recognizance.
    • HB 2947  Fiscal bill incorporates high capacity magazine restrictions from HB2240 and creates a buy-back program for existing high cap magazines.
    • HB 2305 Authorizes seizure of firearms from persons having protection order. 
    • SHB 1010 Authorizes State patrol to destroy forfeited crime guns rather than sell or auction them. 

    Bills the League Watched

    •  SSB 6406  Creates new crime of theft of firearm from shop, residence or vehicle at level 6. Passed out of committee to Rules Committee. UPDATE: Senate Rules X file.
    • SB 6307 Communicating mass violence threats. Hearing scheduled in Senate Law & Justice on 2/3; Executive Session 2/6. UPDATE:  Senate Rules X file.

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