LOCAL NEWS

Gun control advocates in Washington have a fight on their hands

Jan 16, 2018, 10:30 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm
Bump stock, gun control...
(AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)
(AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

Gun control advocates are hoping the shift in the balance of power in Olympia can help them get a handful of new gun laws passed this session.

Possible answer to the opioid epidemic

It’s clear they’re still in for a fight with Republicans, the NRA, and other gun-rights groups.

A hearing in the Senate Law and Justice Committee on five gun safety bills, including a ban on bump stocks, limits on high capacity magazines, enhanced background checks for assault weapons, new laws requiring safe storage of guns, and undoing what’s known as the state preemption law, which allows cities and counties to make their own gun regulations.

The hearing drew a crowd of approximately 1,000 people, with hundreds signing up to have their say. Some of the most passionate testimony was about the proposed ban on bump stocks — a modification that allows some semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly. It was a modification used during the Las Vegas massacre last summer that left 58 people dead.

“The bump-stock modification on the AR-15 that murdered Carrie [a Seattle resident] increased the gun’s rate of fire to nine rounds per second. Thinks of that. A 30-round magazine could be emptied in just over three seconds. Nobody stood a chance,” Carrie’s sister, Ann-Marie Parsons, said.

Parsons begged lawmakers to pass the bump stock ban, enhanced background checks on assault weapons, and limits on high-capacity magazines; as did Emily Cantrell and Kyle Helms, a Seattle couple who survived the Vegas shooting.

“Assault weapons took multiple lives that night. I did my best to keep one of the victims alive, but he was shot in the heart, and although he was conscious he did not make it in the end,” said Helms.

Cantrell described the terror of the experience.

“We were sitting ducks with no way to fight back. We ran. We dived. And with each new round of bullets pouring down on us my emotions changed from being scared to having complete hatred to whoever was doing this, to wondering when we were all going to die.”

Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Adam Cornell testified in support of the bills, suggesting the enhanced background checks on assault weapons could have made a difference in the 2016 Mukilteo house party shooting, that killed three teens and severely injured a fourth.

“It should not have been so easy for this angry 19-year-old to purchase an assault rifle. An assault rifle that he didn’t intend to use for hunting animals. It was an assault rifle that he used with the intention of hunting humans, and that’s exactly what he did. It certainly should not have been easier for the gunman in that case to buy a rifle than it was for him to purchase a firearm.”

But those testifying in favor of the new bans and limits were met with equal force from those against the proposals. That included Alan Gottlieb with Bellevue-based Citizens for the Right To Keep and Bear Arms, who says they all go too far — even the bump stock ban.

“This bill prohibits possession of so-called trigger devices that allegedly increase the rate of fire of some semi-automatic firearms. While the bill references bump stocks, it goes far beyond those devices.”

Gottlieb says the proposal to ban the sale of new magazines that hold more than 10 rounds is also an overreach.

“The greater impact of the magazine ban would be on handgun owners. More than half a million Washington residents are licensed to carry a concealed handgun for their personal protection and the preferred firearm is a semi-automatic pistol. The most popular selling handguns these days almost all have capacity magazines over 10 rounds.”

An NRA rep who showed up echoed those criticisms.

Gottlieb and that representative spoke against the bill to undo the state preemption law, which would let cities and counties come up with their own regulations, and a safe storage bill, which would require gun owners to keep their weapons locked up to keep kids and criminals from getting a hold of them. If a person not allowed to have a gun gets a hold of it and uses it in a crime the gun owner could be charged and sued.

The ban on bump stocks is the only one of the five bills with any Republican co-sponsors.

It’s not clear right now whether any will make it all the way to the governor’s desk. Democrats have just a one-vote majority in the Senate and two votes in the House. At least one Democratic Representative Brian Blake tells The Seattle Times he’s against all the bills.

Local News

airport...
Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
1 day ago
(KIRO 7)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Deputies seize nearly 100 pounds of drugs during Tacoma arrest

Deputies with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department seized nearly 100 pounds of drugs while arresting a man with a felony warrant in Tacoma
1 day ago
police pursuit...
Matt Markovich

Source of pursuit deaths updates controversial data

Stats used by legislators to consider changing police pursuit laws may be in question.
1 day ago
recycle...
Nicole Jennings

‘Recycle, don’t throw out’ newest message from King County initiative

King County has launched a new initiative to get people to recycle or reuse items before automatically throwing them out.
1 day ago
belltown...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Pedestrian hit by train in Belltown, police investigate

Seattle Police are investigating after a man was hit by a train near Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood Thursday night.
1 day ago
Frasier...
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Gun control advocates in Washington have a fight on their hands