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Mixed results for gun legislation in Washington state

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

While the Legislature and Gov. Inslee signed off this week on a bump-stock ban in Washington state, a handful of gun regulations are still up in the air. Thursday is the final day for the 2018 legislative session.

Still not decided are:

Senate Bill 6620 – The bill would raise the legal age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 years old to 21 years old. It also includes better background checks and school safety improvements. The Senate adjourned Tuesday night before the bill could make it to the floor. Senator David Frockt told The Seattle Times he thinks it has enough votes.

–House Bill 2519 allows a person who is under 21 years of age and at least 18 years of age, to possess a concealed pistol license, if the person is an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, a member of the national guard or the reserves of the armed forces of the United States, or an honorably discharged veteran. UPDATE: It has passed the Legislature and awaits the legislative president’s and Gov. Inslee’s signatures.

–Senate Bill 6298 would include the crime of “harassment” to domestic violence convictions for which a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm. It awaits Gov. Inslee’s signature.

Senate Bill 5553 is aimed at preventing suicide. It allows someone to voluntarily waive their rights to firearms when they’re in crisis or having thoughts of suicide. It also creates a process to revoke the waiver and have their right to buy or own a firearm reinstated so long as seven days have passed since they initially waived their rights. It has passed the Legislature and awaits the legislative president’s and Gov. Inslee’s signatures.

NRA contributions to lawmakers

Meanwhile, The Seattle Times reports that the National Rifle Association has been spending more money on state elections in Washington than any other state in recent years.

An analysis by the newspaper showed that candidate contributions totaling about $203,000 helped the campaigns for both the Washington state House and Senate between 2012 and 2016, the most recent election year for which reliable data is available from the National Institute of Money in State Politics, a nonpartisan organization that compiles campaign-finance information. Texas was a distant second over that period with $95,750, according to the newspaper’s analysis.

According to the data, which is a compilation of campaign-finance reports from all U.S. states, contributions to state-level candidates in Washington began ramping up in 2010, when Democrats had significant majorities in both chambers.

Currently, Democrats have a one-vote majority in the Washington state Senate and two-seat majority in the House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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