Gun control debate set to take center stage in Olympia
Gun control and gun rights advocates are expected to pack state House and Senate hearings this week, as more than a dozen new proposed firearms measures come up for debate.
On Monday, the Senate Law and Justice committee will take up several gun-related bills, including proposed limits on high capacity magazines requested by Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Among other things, supporters of gun control argue the magazines are often used in mass shootings and are not necessary for self-defense. On the flip side, gun rights advocates say most handguns have magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, which this bill would ban.
A companion bill that also would ban so-called assault weapons is set to be heard in the House Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, we can expect a big showing from both sides of the debate, as the House takes up a controversial proposal to undo Washington’s decades-old preemption law, which prevents cities and other local jurisdictions from enacting gun restrictions that are stricter than state law.
This is a non-starter for gun rights advocates, who, among other things, argue that this law is needed to ensure uniformity in gun regulations in the state, so that gun owners don’t unknowingly break the law when passing through other jurisdictions.
Supporters, including the Seattle city officials, argue gun violence is a public health crisis, and that laws need to change to protect the public.
Several other firearms bills are also expected to be heard this week, including bills to toughen penalties for certain gun crimes, require training for concealed pistol holders, temporarily remove gun rights from repeat DUI offenders, and create a new statewide office of Firearm Violence Prevention within the executive branch of the state government