Since 2014, Washington has taken huge strides. We’ve enacted gun violence prevention laws through the legislature and at the ballot, and we’ve made our state a safer place. But our work is not done. There is more we can and should do to prevent gun violence and to implement and enforce our state’s gun laws.
KEEP DANGEROUS FIREARMS AND ACCESSORIES OFF OUR STREETS: Washington State is continually improving and enforcing our firearm laws to help keep our communities safe and make sure that dangerous weapons do not make it into the wrong hands.
RESTRICT ACCESS TO HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES: High-capacity magazines make shootings more deadly and allow shooters to fire more rounds, faster. Keeping these dangerous items away from people looking to cause harm would reduce risks and help limit the scope of mass shooting tragedies in Washington. SB 5062 / HB 1068
CLOSE UNDETECTABLE “GHOST GUN” LOOPHOLES: Ensure we are able to respond to new technology by closing loopholes that allow for printing and manufacturing of untraceable weapons without serial numbers. SB 5061 / HB 1073
KEEP CONFISCATED CRIME GUNS OFF THE STREET: Allow the State Patrol to destroy confiscated crime guns, rather than require them to auction or trade them. HB 1010
REQUIRE REPORTING OF LOST AND STOLEN FIREARMS: Follow the example of a growing number of cities in Washington and require owners to alert law enforcement that their weapon may now be on the black market within 48 hours of the weapon being lost or stolen. HB 1203
KEEP GUNS OUT OF DANGEROUS HANDS: Access to firearms at a point of crisis or in high-risk situations can mean the difference between life and death. Our state can continue to do more to make sure that we reduce firearms access in risky circumstances.
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND VICTIM SAFETY: Strengthening our firearm surrender laws for domestic violence and other protection orders and authorizing law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms when making an arrest for domestic violence or serving a protection order arrest will help prevent gun violence by removing firearms from volatile, dangerous situations. SB 5143 / HB 1225
IMPROVE AND STANDARDIZE EXISTING PROTECTIVE ORDERS: It is currently too easy for people subject to certain types of protective orders to maintain easy access to firearms, and the process to remove those firearms can be difficult and lengthy. We should make sure that rules are consistent and based on the best available protective order standards. HB 1786
PREVENT HATE-BASED GUN CRIMES: Too often, we’ve seen the deadly intersection of hate and gun violence; from Orlando and Pittsburgh, to Charleston and the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, guns have been used to kill and intimidate people due to their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Strengthening our protective order laws to include threats of hate-based violence will help protect vulnerable communities. SB 5745 / HB 1774
STREAMLINE AND UPDATE BACKGROUND CHECKS: Having effective, accurate, and safe systems in place means laws are effectively implemented. Updates include centralizing our background check system to ensure law enforcement and gun dealers have the most up-to-date information, and updating our list of firearm possession prohibiters to include additional crimes that are indicators of future violence and individuals found incompetent to stand trial. SB 5205
HELP PREVENT SUICIDE: Today, people who have been involuntarily committed for 14 or more days consecutively may not possess firearms. However, individuals subject to 72-hour involuntary holds for mental health may still legally purchase firearms. We can help prevent suicide and reduce risks by temporarily restricting access to firearms for people who have been involuntarily held for 72-hours. SB 5181
UPDATE EXISTING LAWS: Work with advocates to implement the recommendations of the Mass Shooting Work Group to institute policies which will help keep our kids and families safe from gun violence and mass shootings. SB 5027 / SB 5514 / HB 1541
KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE: Allowing local governments to help keep their communities safe with the gun laws that work best for them and making sure that guns are not welcome where our children gather will help keep Washington’s kids safe from gun violence.
RESTORE LOCAL AUTHORITY: If local leaders determine there are events or places where firearms present a high risk, they should be able to act. Our state should allow local governments to put stronger laws into place when it is right for the community. HB 1319 / HB 1374
INCREASE PROTECTIONS FOR EARLY LEARNING CENTERS, LIBRARIES, AND PARKS: Firearms are prohibited in K-12 schools across our state. But many other places where our children gather to learn and play do not have similar protections. We should keep our kids safe by extending the protections K-12 schools enjoy to early learning centers, parks, and libraries across Washington. SB 5434 / HB 1530
EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND RESEARCH: The process of establishing effective gun laws does not end with the passage of a law. We need to continue educating Washingtonians, researching the causes of and solutions to gun violence, and creating effective implementation models that can be copied statewide to ensure community safety.
PROVIDE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION: Gun violence prevention laws work best when we have the best research and implementation practices available. Washington should fund innovative programs and research.
REQUIRE SAFETY TRAINING: 27 states and the District of Columbia require safety training before issuing a concealed pistol license; Washington is not one of these states. We should update our CPL laws to include training requirements. SB 5174 / HB 1315