March 14, 2022 Blog
2022 Legislative Victories
Washington’s 2022 legislative session was one for the books! The second virtual session brought its fair share of obstacles. In just a short 60 days, lawmakers had to address the continued challenges of the pandemic, craft a budget, and more. Thankfully, lawmakers prioritized gun responsibility this year, passing SIX vital gun violence prevention bills, including (finally!) ESSB 5078 to restrict high-capacity magazines! Legislators also invested substantial funding in gun violence prevention efforts through the newly-formed Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention.
Here’s a breakdown of our legislative victories:
ESSB 5078: RESTRICTING HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES
This bill reduces the scope of gun violence in Washington by restricting high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It targets the supply of these extraordinarily deadly magazines by prohibiting their manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale. It does not prohibit possession of high-capacity magazines. This is a victory six years in the making!
HB 1630: REJECTING ARMED INTIMIDATION
In 2021, the legislature took action to reject armed intimidation by prohibiting open carry at the Capitol, protests, and demonstrations. HB 1630 extends this safeguard by prohibiting open carry at public local government meetings and prohibiting the knowing carry and possession of firearms at school board meetings and election-related offices and facilities.
HB 1705: CLOSING THE GHOST GUN LOOPHOLE
Ghost guns are unserialized and untraceable firearms that anyone—including prohibited purchasers, children, domestic abusers, and gun traffickers—can buy online, at gun shows, or from local dealers. They are often sold through kits including all of the parts, equipment, and instructions necessary to build these weapons at home. HB 1705 restricts the manufacture, assembly, sale, transfer, purchase, possession, transport, and receipt of ghost guns.
HB 1735: UPDATING USE OF FORCE STANDARDS
In 2021, legislators passed an historic package of police accountability bills that made a series of changes to standards of police conduct. HB 1735 clarifies when police can use physical force, including to help transport people to mental health treatment.
HB 1941: PROHIBITING LIVE-SHOOTER DRILLS
This bill prohibits schools from conducting lockdown drills that include live simulations of or reenactments of active shooter scenarios that are not trauma-informed and age and developmentally appropriate.
HB 1901: UPDATING CIVIL PROTECTION ORDERS
This bill makes updates to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Washington’s civil protection order system. Notably, it expands the definition of domestic violence to include coercive control, a common and dangerous form of intimate partner violence. Coercive control often escalates into physical, even deadly, violence. And guns are often used as a tool of coercive control, adding weight to manipulative or threatening behavior.
$$$: INVESTING IN GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
The legislature allocated $8.41 million in funding for various gun violence prevention programs through the Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention! Those dollars will be used to issue grants to community-based violence prevention groups, establish a Healthy Youth & Violence Prevention Initiative in the Office, improve firearm removal in domestic violence situations, establish community reinvestment grants, and more.
Gun violence continues at a record pace in Washington, weighing heavily on our communities and highlighting how much work there is left to do to create the safe, just future we deserve. But this session proved how much progress is possible.
None of these victories would have been possible without the dedication of our legislative champions and our tireless supporters. We are so grateful for everyone who worked with us to help make Washington a safer state.
— Dylan O’Connor is Political and Government Affairs Manager at the Alliance