May 13, 2021 Press Releases

The Alliance For Gun Responsibility Celebrates Legislative Victories

The Washington State Legislature passed 10 significant public safety bills, including restricting open carry and strengthening police accountability

OLYMPIA, WA – The Alliance for Gun Responsibility issued the following statement in recognition of the end of the Washington State Legislature’s 2021 session. 

“Going into this session, our communities and our lawmakers faced immense challenges from the pandemic and economic fallout to the crisis of police violence and epidemic of gun violence,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “We are incredibly proud of what we accomplished this session in the face of those challenges. Lawmakers took decisive action to respond to the moment by rejecting armed intimidation and passing several vital measures to strengthen police oversight and accountability. They also made Washington’s civil protection order system more accessible and efficient, expanded voting rights, and maintained crucial funding for the Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention, research at the University of Washington, and background check centralization efforts. 

We know that Washington will be a safer place thanks to this progress. Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, lawmakers failed to pass a bill to prohibit high-capacity magazines despite widespread public support. This failure leaves our communities vulnerable. The last year has reminded us time and time again how much work there is left to do to create the safe, thriving communities we deserve. We are committed to continuing to hold our elected leaders accountable and working to create a safer future.”

More details about the public safety bills passed this session: 

  • SB 5038: By prohibiting the open carry of weapons at the state capitol and public permitted demonstrations, this bill rejects armed intimidation, protects free speech, and keeps Washingtonians safe. 
  • HB 1320: This sweeping bill modernizes and streamlines Washington’s protection order system and process. It will improve efficiency and accessibility, helping to make sure that the most vulnerable Washingtonians can access lifesaving protection orders to keep themselves and their families safe. 
  • HB 1078: This bill automatically restores the right to vote to formerly incarcerated people upon their release from full custody, regardless of whether they are in community custody or owe court debts.
  • HB 1054: This bill establishes clear guidelines and prohibits harmful and deadly police tactics, including chokeholds and no-knock warrants, which garnered national attention after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
  • HB 1089: This bill requires an independent investigation into an officer’s use of deadly force to determine whether the use of deadly force was justified.
  • HB 1267: By establishing a new agency within the governor’s office to handle independent criminal investigations of deadly force incidents, this bill strengthens accountability and transparency.
  • HB 1310: This bill establishes a statewide standard for police officers to de-escalate situations and allows an officer to use lethal force only when necessary to protect against a life-threatening situation.
  • SB 5051: This bill expands the state’s ability to decertify—or take away an officer’s gun and badge for good—in response to serious misconduct. It also requires that a third of the Criminal Justice Training Commission seats be filled with community members.
  • SB 5259: This bill requires the collection of data on deadly use of force incidents. 
  • SB 5066: A “duty to intervene” bill, SB 5066 requires officers to intervene if they witness a fellow officer using excessive force. 

The suite of police accountability bills—HB 1054, HB 1089, HB 1267, HB 1310, SB 5051, SB 5259, and SB 5066—still needs to be signed by Governor Inslee.