As Mayor Durkan Announced New Initiatives for Seattle, Governor Inslee Signed First-of-its-kind Suicide Prevention Bill into Law
Seattle, WA – Today, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility celebrated continued progress on gun violence prevention efforts in Washington. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a longtime gun violence prevention champion, announced a new plan to reduce gun violence in Seattle. The plan includes funding for local gun violence research, increased public awareness around Extreme Risk Protection Orders and new citywide safe firearm storage legislation.
“Change happens at every level and we are thrilled to see Mayor Durkan driving change in Seattle. Her plan includes a comprehensive, public health and data-driven approach that will help save lives in our communities,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “The safe storage ordinance included in Mayor Durkan’s plan is critical to keeping firearms out of dangerous hands, like children and prohibited purchasers, and to creating a culture that balances gun rights with responsibility.”
Dangerous Access Prevention, a statewide safe storage policy, has been introduced in the Washington Legislature every year for nearly two decades. Despite the overwhelming body of research that shows the policy is effective, the bill has yet to become law.
Mayor Durkan’s plan also includes a measure to raise public awareness about Extreme Risk Protection Orders, a critical statewide gun violence prevention tool for families and communities. Washington voters overwhelmingly passed Extreme Risk Protection Orders into law in 2016 at the ballot. This protection order allows family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that the person poses a serious threat to themselves or others. Family members and law enforcement are often in the best position to see the warning signs of violence.
Another suicide prevention bill, Voluntary Waiver, was signed into law by Governor Inslee today. The first-of-its-kind policy gives Washingtonians the ability to voluntarily have their names listed on the prohibited purchaser list. The policy includes identity protection and a process that allows the person to restore their gun rights.
“Suicide makes up a significant portion of gun violence in our state. That’s why we must do everything we can to give individuals and families tools to help prevent a future crisis. With the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Orders in 2016 and with Voluntary Waiver becoming law today, we are taking steps in that direction. Now we must work together to swiftly implement Voluntary Waiver and ensure that Washingtonians know about all the gun violence prevention tools available to them,” said Hopkins.
Additional information about Voluntary Waiver and other gun violence prevention policies can be found here.
“This year we passed the most gun responsibility legislation in a single session, but we still have much work to do,” said Hopkins. “Gun responsibility is a consensus viewpoint in our state and we deserve elected leaders at all levels of government that reflect this view. We thank gun responsibility champions like Mayor Durkan and Governor Inslee for their leadership on this issue. Our coalition will be working in 2018 to elect and support more gun responsibility champions in all levels of government across the state.”
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.