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As Lawmakers Return to Olympia, We Must Build on Washington’s Progress In the Fight Against Gun Violence 

January 8, 2024

Today, lawmakers return to Olympia for the first time since last spring to convene for the legislative session. Last session, Washington became the tenth state to pass legislation to prohibit the sale and manufacturing of Assault Weapons, and saw other big strides from legislation to promote secure storage of weapons and hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis. Now, legislators have an opportunity to build on that progress and make Washington a national leader in the fight against gun violence. 

A snapshot of the life-saving legislation on docket this year: 

  • HB 1902: Legislation to create a permit to purchase system to strengthen vetting procedures before a person is able to buy a firearm, strengthen firearm safety training requirements, and help implement Washington’s mandate to annually confirm that firearm owners are still legally able to possess guns. . 
  • HB 1903: Legislation to require the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, which are often diverted to people prohibited from having guns and end up being used in violent crimes. 
  • HB 2118: Legislation creating a robust code of conduct for licensed gun dealers in Washington State, to ensure they take steps to keep guns off the illegal market and out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. The bill requires gun dealers to secure their inventory against theft, have general liability insurance, and maintain sales records to aid investigations of gun crimes.

We also support important legislation to restrict buyers from purchasing more than one firearm per month (HB 2054), restrict firearms in sensitive locations like libraries and parks (SB 5444), require firearm liability insurance (SB 5963) and root out systemic misconduct at law enforcement agencies (HB 1445).

All of these measures are critical to Washington’s commitment to public safety and will give families across the state the peace of mind that strong gun safety laws are in place to promote public safety and prevent senseless gun violence. 

Last week, Everytown for Gun Safety released its annual gun law rankings, and Washington saw its rank increase by one. Everytown’s state gun law rankings now show whether states’ rankings increased or decreased over the past year, reflecting progress made by passing common-sense gun safety policies, including in states like Washington where gun-sense lawmakers have made incredible strides to pass common sense gun safety policies.

In an average year, 853 people die by guns in Washington. With a rate of 10.8 deaths per 100,000 people, Washington has the 40th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. More information about gun violence in Washington is available here

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