Yesterday, Washington lawmakers held hearings on gun safety legislation in the State House and Senate. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers testified in favor of several bills and have been advocating for the gun safety measures presented by Governor Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson since they were announced last December.
The three life-saving gun safety bills that were heard in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee yesterday and marked the beginning of a big week for gun violence prevention in Washington were:
- HB 1240, legislation to prohibit the sale and manufacture of a list of assault-style rifles including any semi automatic rifles with detachable magazines.
- HB 1143, legislation to create a permit to purchase requirement for all firearm sales in Washington and would require mandatory training.
- HB 1144, legislation to require training and a waiting period for all firearm sales.
Among the testimonies in yesterday’s hearing, lawmakers heard from Tahana Salvadalena, a volunteer with Washington Moms Demand Action who said, “As a healthcare provider, I have witnessed the damage that gun violence can impact physically and psychologically on victims and also on the surrounding family and community.” After sharing her experience losing family members to firearms, she added, “HB 1143 will ensure that people buying firearms are trained properly on how to use them, that their eligibility to purchase a gun is well-vetted, and that there is a waiting period to ensure firearms aren’t being purchased during an acute mental health crisis.”
At the same time, the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee heard SB 5078, which focuses on ensuring accountability for the firearm industry. The measure would create a new provision under state law that would allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers whose misconduct results in harm to Washington residents. Gun Sense Champion and bill sponsor Senator Pederson said, “This bill puts the responsibility on manufacturers and retailers to make sure guns don’t get into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
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.
Statistics about gun violence in Washington are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings – which shows how Washington’s gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here. If you are interested in speaking with a Washington Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, please reach out to [email protected].