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This Session, Washington Lawmakers Should Act to Keep Washingtonians Safe from Gun Violence

January 13, 2020

Washington lawmakers return to Olympia today for a new legislative session where they’ll have new opportunities to pass common-sense gun safety bills, starting with House Bill 1315, legislation to require all Concealed Pistol License applicants to undergo safety training. Lawmakers will also have the opportunity to support legislation that funds community-based programs to reduce gun violence. 

Here’s more on what Washington Moms Demand Action will advocate for this session:

Concealed Pistol License Safety Training

  • There are more than half a million active concealed pistol licenses in Washington meaning one in 12 people have a concealed pistol without required training. Under current state law, there are no training requirements that a person must meet before being issued a concealed pistol license, despite evidence that comprehensive gun safety training can meaningfully impact public safety.
  • HB 1315 would create training requirements for all Concealed Pistol License applicants. These requirements would include a minimum of eight hours of instruction on a variety of subject areas related to handgun safety, including secure storage, handgun use and safety, and suicide prevention. There would also be a live-fire training component to be completed on a firing range, requiring an actual demonstration of safe use of a handgun.
  • Washington is one of only 10 states in the country that does not require training before issuing a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. Almost every state requires some version of training for license applicants, and more than half of these states require that a person complete a live-fire training component before being issued a license to carry a concealed handgun. It’s past time Washington caught up to these states.

Community-Based Programs

  • Community-based programs apply a localized approach to gun violence prevention that are well-suited to address gun violence in the hardest-hit neighborhoods. These programs identify individuals who are at the highest risk of shooting or being shot, and they work to reduce violence through targeted interventions. 
  • Research on programs in states like California continues to show the promise of holistic, community-based programs in preventing gun violence. Supporting programs like these in Washington will help interrupt and prevent daily gun violence.
  • In December, Governor Inslee released his 2020 supplemental budget proposal which included more than $1.8 million in funding for evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs. The proposed funding would target programs in South King County and Yakima County, the counties with the highest rates of gun homicide in Washington. 

Statistics about gun violence in Washington are available here, and information on how Washington’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here

If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Washington Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]