March 2, 2022 Press Releases

Washington State Legislature Passes HB 1705 To Close Ghost Gun Loophole And HB 1630 To Reject Armed Intimidation

Alliance for Gun Responsibility applauds this vital progress to address growing gun violence threats 

OLYMPIA, WA – Today, the Washington State Senate approved two vital gun responsibility bills, HB 1705 to prohibit ghost guns and HB 1630 to restrict firearms at public meetings and election-related locations. HB 1705, sponsored by Rep. Liz Berry (D-36), restricts the manufacture, assembly, sale, transfer, purchase, possession, transport, and receipt of ghost guns—untraceable, unserialized firearms and unfinished receivers. It was approved 26-23. HB 1630, sponsored by Rep. Senn (D-41), prohibits open carry at local government meetings and restricts firearms at school board meetings and election-related offices and facilities.  It was approved 28-20.

“Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in Washington. As a mother, this is devastating. And as someone who lost my dear friend Gabe to gun violence, this is heartbreaking,” said Rep. Berry. “Gun violence is preventable, and I believe we have the responsibility to do everything we can to save lives. That’s why I am proud to champion this bill that will ban untraceable, homemade ghost guns.”

“This bill will make our local elected officials and all residents who want to make their voices heard at public meetings safer,” said Rep. Senn. “No one should have to experience the threat of gun violence to participate in civic life. Sharing your voice and your opinions, not your guns, is what makes our democracy go round.”

“The passage of HB 1705 and HB 1630 are vital steps toward a safer Washington,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “HB 1705 closes a deadly loophole in our state’s background check system to ensure that people who we all agree shouldn’t have easy access to firearms can’t get their hands on one. And HB 1630 rejects armed intimidation and protects our democracy. We are proud that our elected leaders have taken action to build on previous progress and address these alarming and growing gun violence threats.” 

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. Ghost guns are not serialized, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace their origin and easy for gun traffickers to divert them into the criminal market. 

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. 

You can see the Alliance’s full 2022 Agenda here, and a fact sheet on gun violence in Washington here.