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Following Advocacy of Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action Volunteers, Gun Violence Prevention Advances in Washington

January 27, 2023

This week and last week, Washington lawmakers held hearings on gun safety legislation in the House. Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action volunteers testified in favor of several bills, as part of ongoing advocacy efforts in support for the gun safety package presented by Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson last December.

This morning, two life-saving gun safety bills were voted out of the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee:

  • HB 1143, legislation to create a permit-to-purchase requirement for all firearm sales in Washington and require mandatory training. 
  • HB 1240, legislation to prohibit the sale and manufacture of assault weapons. 

Yesterday, lawmakers in the House Education Committee heard from Gabriel Kelly, a volunteer with Washington Students Demand Action who testified in support of HB 1230, which requires K-12 schools to send home info about securely storing firearms and prescription drugs. He said, “My parents taught me from a very young age about responsible gun ownership, safely securing them and making sure no one gets hurt… For the longest time I assumed that’s how everyone learned about guns but I was wrong. This bill will make it safer for kids by ensuring every home is sent information on how to securely store firearms and ammunition.” You can listen to Gabriel’s full testimony here.    

In addition to a big week at the House, at the local level ​​King County Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion announced a new gun violence prevention unit. The effort aims to identify and prosecute individuals perpetuating harm in communities, while also connecting individuals who are close to gun violence to meaningful community-based resources before they become victims or perpetrators of violence. In addition the new unit includes expanding coordination with the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) team. This life-saving initiative will go beyond preventing gun violence, as it aims to tackle it at its core, a model that should be implemented in counties throughout the state and nation.

As we await further legislative action on gun violence prevention bills, Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action Volunteers will continue to advocate for measures that continue to make Washington a national leader in the fight against gun violence. If you are interested in speaking with a Washington Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, please reach out to [email protected].

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