January 9, 2017 News

Alliance for Gun Responsibility Releases Policy Agenda to Protect Families, Law Enforcement, and Communities from Gun Violence

Agenda, Headlined by Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks, Strengthens Gun Laws, Improves Enforcement of Existing Laws, and Provides New Tools for Suicide Prevention

Commonsense Agenda Builds on Overwhelming Passage of Initiative 1491 in November in 2016

(Seattle, WA) – Today, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility released its 2017 Policy Agenda for the 2017 Legislation Session. The Agenda, which is headlined by Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks, includes proposals that protect families, law enforcement, and communities from gun violence by strengthening gun laws, ensuring their effective enforcement, and helping to prevent firearm suicide.

The Agenda builds off the successes of 2014’s Initiative 594 and 2016’s Initiative 1491, which passed with 59% and 69% of the statewide vote, respectively. Initiative 1491, the statewide measure that established Extreme Risk Protection Orders, passed in 48 of 49 Legislative Districts in Washington State.

“Washingtonians have made it clear that they support gun responsibility, and our elected officials have the chance to show they’re as committed to saving lives as their constituents,” said Alliance for Gun Responsibility CEO Renée Hopkins. “Our 2017 Policy Agenda balances our rights with our responsibility to protect our whole community, especially children, police, and crime victims. These policies are supported by the people of Washington State, who know that the life-saving policies we’ve passed so far have made an important difference. We thank gun the responsibility champions who have helped shape this Agenda, and we’re ready to continue Washington State’s leadership on gun responsibility in 2017.”

“Events like Mukilteo and Burlington remind us that we need common-sense gun reforms now,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “I am committed to reform that will keep powerful weapons out of dangerous hands.”

“I have been heart-broken and shaken to the core of my being with grief and anguish by the recent tragedy in Mukilteo where three 19 year olds were murdered, & my son was nearly killed,“ said Paul Kramer, father of Mukilteo shooting survivor Will Kramer. “My heart goes out to the families of those who have lost their children, and to all people affected by the excessive, intolerable amount of gun violence present in our American culture.  I fully support common sense legislation to place very reasonable limits on access to assault weapons, which I believe rightfully belong with the police and military.  For the sake of safer, less violent communities, I’m asking the politicians who have been elected to represent the people of Washington State to bring this proposed legislation to pass.”

Highlights of the 2017 Policy Agenda include:

  • Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks: alongside Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Alliance supports legislation that would require additional training to possess assault weapons, and raise the purchase age to 21 or older.
  • Dangerous Access Prevention: creating the potential for criminal liability when children or prohibited purchasers cause harm with guns that are not safely stored.
  • Law Enforcement and Victim Notification: bipartisan legislation that notifies victims when their abuser tries to buy a gun, and notifies law enforcement when a prohibited purchaser attempts to purchase a firearm.
  • Suicide Crisis Prevention: expanding current prohibitions on firearm purchases to include temporary restriction on purchases and possession by individuals who have recently been subject to a 72-hour involuntary mental health treatment hold.

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s full 2017 Legislative Agenda is available at http://www.gunresponsibility.org/2017-policy-agenda. Staff are available to provide further details to interested parties.

About the Alliance for Gun Responsibility

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility works to end the gun violence crisis in our community and to promote a culture of gun ownership that balances rights with responsibilities. Through collaboration with experts, civic leaders, and citizens, we work to find evidenced-based solutions to the crisis of gun violence in our community. We create innovative policy, advocate for changes in laws, and promote community education to reduce gun violence. Learn more at www.gunresponsibility.org and follow us at @WAGunResponsib.

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