OLYMPIA, Wash. – Today, more than 70 volunteers with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, along with members of the Everytown Survivor Network, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, came together with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility for a lobby day at the Washington State Capitol. Throughout the day, volunteers and gun violence survivors met with legislators and hosted a press conference to discuss how elected leaders can help prevent gun violence by supporting Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation, which would create a law enforcement tool to help prevent shooting tragedies, and Child Access Prevention legislation, which would hold adults responsible for negligently allowing children to access guns.
“Washington State has proven to be a leader on the issue of gun violence prevention, but there is still more we can do to help save lives and protect our communities,” said Leah Bernstein, volunteer leader for the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Today, gun safety advocates met with our Washington legislators and shared our voices to advocate for common-sense legislation. We urge our leaders to put public safety first by supporting Extreme Risk Protection Order and Child Access Prevention legislation.”
“In 2014, I joined a club that no one wants to join – I joined a growing group of gun violence survivors. But out of tragedy, I decided to turn to action and to advocate for gun safety laws that will help save lives,” said Jane Weiss, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose niece Veronika Weiss was shot and killed in the May 2014 shooting near the campus of UC Santa Barbara. “When I think about how my niece Veronika was shot and killed near the campus of UC Santa Barbara, I wish there were tools in place for law enforcement and families to raise a red flag about potential warning signs for those who may be a danger to themselves or others. Extreme Risk Protection Orders provide a mechanism for family members and law enforcement to do just that. We should have this option in Washington and I urge our legislators to support this kind of legislation.”
In 2014, gun safety advocates led the way to passing I-594, Washington State’s background check ballot measure that passed with 60% of the vote. Washington is one of 18 states that have closed the background check loophole.