February 23, 2018 Press Releases
Machine Gun Loophole Bill and First-of-its-kind Suicide Prevention Bill Voted Out of House of Representatives with Bipartisan Support
The Senate Previously Passed Voluntary Waivers and Machine Gun Loophole with Bipartisan Support in January
The Bills Are Now Headed Back to the Senate For Concurrence, The Final Step Before Becoming Law
Olympia, WA – Today, after successful votes in the Washington State House of Representatives, two gun responsibility bills are heading back to the Senate for a final vote. The Senate passed the Machine Gun Loophole bill with bipartisan support and unanimously passed the Voluntary Waiver bill last month.
“We could not be more thrilled that these two policies that will save lives have passed another critical milestone on their way to becoming law,” said Alliance for Gun Responsibility CEO Renée Hopkins. “While we celebrate this legislative win, we must recognize that there is still so much more at stake for Washingtonians with just two weeks left before session ends. Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks is currently stalled in the Legislature and we are asking lawmakers to do everything they can to bring this bill to a vote.”
The Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks bill would raise the age of purchase to 21 years, require safety training, and change the fact that it’s easier to buy an assault weapon in Washington State than a handgun. Assault weapons have been used in high-profile shooting incidents, including the 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting, the 2017 Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs shootings, the 2016 Mukilteo house party shooting, the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, and far too many others.
“While the Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks bill awaits action in both chambers, we are hopeful that the Senate will again do the right thing and send the Machine Gun Loophole and Voluntary Waivers bills to be signed into law,” said Hopkins.
Voluntary Waivers (SB 5553) is a first- of-its-kind suicide prevention bill in the country. It would give people 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. The House voted to pass the bill 77 to 20.
Closing the machine gun loophole with Senate Bill 5992, will prohibit the sale of dangerous conversion devices, like bump stocks, from being legally sold in Washington State. Conversion devices, which increase the rate of fire on already deadly assault weapons, were used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people and injured hundreds of others. The House voted to pass the bill 56 to 41.
To see the Alliance’s complete 2018 legislative agenda, visit www.gunresponsibility.org.
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.