Two recent mass shootings reignite local, national gun control discussions
Following the mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, which left 18 dead over the past week, local and national calls for gun control and tighter restrictions are once again coming to the forefront.
President Joe Biden called on Congress to tighten the nation’s gun laws.
“Ten lives have been lost, and more families have been shattered by gun violence in the state of Colorado,” Biden said.
Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold told Dave Ross on Seattle’s Morning News on Tuesday that it’s too early to tell what will happen in Congress, but he doubts there will be real changes based on what’s happened in the past.
“I sort of doubt there will be just, sadly, given the many, many times this has happened under Democratic presidents and Republican presidents and how nothing has happened before, I don’t see it happening now,” he said.
Fahrenthold did point out the city of Boulder, Colorado, tried to implement an assault weapons ban, which was blocked by a judge just 10 days before the shooting. The ban had been passed by the city in 2018. That ordinance, as well as another banning large capacity magazines, came after the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The judge struck down the ordinance under a Colorado law that blocks cities from making their own rules about guns.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has adopted measures to expand background checks to all gun purchases and expand the time to vet people flagged in a nationwide background check system. To pass in the Senate, however, it would need the support of every Democrat.
In Washington state, the only gun related bill still alive in the Legislature is the open carry bill, SB 5038. It was approved by the state Senate in late February. The bill would allow guns or other weapons to be carried on the Capitol campus in Olympia, and at or near permitted public demonstrations across the state. It’s now in the House.
The proposed ban in the state Legislature on high capacity magazines (SB 5078) has stalled. SB 5217, by request of the state attorney general, which would ban the possession, manufacturing, distribution, import, transfer, sale, or purchase of any assault weapon, except as authorized in the law, only made it to a first hearing in the 2021 session.