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Washington Moms Demand Action, Everytown Applaud Senate Committee’s Passage of Legislation to Require All Concealed Pistol License Applicants to Pass a Handgun Proficiency Course

January 24, 2019

SB 5174 Would Create a Training Program for Concealed Pistol License Applicants

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the Senate Law and Justice Committee for passing legislation that would require applicants for concealed pistol licenses to demonstrate completion of training requirements before being issued a license.

“I’m encouraged to see lawmakers advance this common-sense legislation, said Sue Whitcomb, volunteer leader with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This bill will help prevent tragedies by ensuring that all concealed pistol license holders demonstrate that they know how to safely handle a pistol. Washington has led the way on gun safety, but there’s still more work to be done. This crucial piece of legislation will get us one step closer to ensuring we’re doing all we can to keep families in our state safe.”

The training requirements would include a minimum of eight hours of instruction on topics such as safe handling, responsible storage and suicide prevention, as well as include live-fire shooting exercises on a range. The range instruction would require an actual demonstration of how to physically handle and fire the handgun.

Under current Washington 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. Currently, a person who wishes to conceal carry may do so without having to demonstrate that they are proficient in firearm safety.

Washington is one of only nineteen states in the country that does not require training before issuing a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. Thirty-one states require training and 22 of these states require that a person complete a live-fire training component before being issued a license to carry a concealed handgun.

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