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Washington lawmaker wants to require firearm training before passing gun regulations


Republican State Senator Phil Fortunato has concerns about Washington’s gun control laws. More specifically, he doubts many lawmakers’ knowledge and experience when crafting a gun law.

The gun control effort in Washington is aggressive with new majorities for Democrats in the state House and Senate, and efforts from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, along with support from the state attorney general. But Fortunato objects to people making laws about issues they know little about.

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“There’s a little bit of a problem with somebody drafting legislation that doesn’t have the faintest idea at what the heck is going on with guns,” Fortunato said.

He points to statements made by lawmakers both in and outside the state who propose laws restricting guns as clear evidence they don’t have any knowledge of firearms.

“They come out and they’ll [use] something like AR-15s that shoot 700 rounds a minute. Diane Fienstein said something like ‘you can’t hunt ducks with more than three rounds, but you can hunt humans with 150 rounds’ – I go well, apparently nobody told her it’s illegal to actually hunt humans,” Fortunato said.

In response, Fortunato has a bill proposing some changes.

“We’re saying if you want to pass gun legislation, you have to pass Criminal Justice Training [Center] firearm training requirement for each firearm that you want to regulate,” Fortunato explained.

“Then you have to be a range safety officer so you have to understand safety procedures, and then you have to pass a test based on calibers and gauges, so you know the difference between a .40 caliber bullet and 12 gauge shotgun,” he added.

Fortunato admits the bill is unlikely to even get a hearing, but believes it’s important to introduce it in order to make a point.

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“It’s a little disturbing to me as a gun owner to have these people have no idea what they’re talking about draft gun legislation,” Fortunato said.

And even if it doesn’t see the light of day, Fortunato thinks it’s important to draw attention to this, with Democrats now having such large majorities in the House and Senate. He expects them to push an aggressive gun control agenda.

“I mean, I was just going to get a new pillow and some popcorn and watch the show,” Fortunato said.

Democrats that KIRO Radio spoke with opted not to weigh in on the proposal.

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