OLYMPIA — The Senate Law & Justice Committee will hear several gun-related bills on Monday. Gun violence is a public health crisis in our state and nationwide, and it’s time to impose reasonable restrictions on firearms to ensure the safety of Washingtonians.

Senate Bill 5463, Protecting public safety through responsible storage of firearms:

  • Creates liability for people who don’t safely store firearms, when those firearms are used to kill or injure someone.
  • More than 65 percent of school shooters obtained their fire at home, or at the home of a relative.
  • More than 75 percent of youth who attempt to take their own lives do so with a gun found at home.

Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby: “This bill simply says that if you are an irresponsible gun owner who allows an unsecured weapon to be used by somebody prohibited from owning a gun, such as a terrorist, domestic abuser or a child, that there will be legal repercussions. The grim reality is that easy access to firearms is a leading factor in shootings, and deaths, among children.”

Senate Bill 5992, Concerning trigger modification devices:

  • Would ban the conversion kit known as a “bump stock” that essentially allows people to turn semi-automatic weapons into machine guns.
  • This type of modification is easily purchased, and allowed a shooter in Las Vegas to kill 58 people and wound 546 more in 2017.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim: ““The clear purpose of bump stocks is to give a legal semiautomatic weapon the rapid-fire capability of machine gun, which is an illegal weapon. As a lifetime NRA member and longtime supporter of gun rights and responsible gun ownership, I don’t take this action lightly. But these devices pose an emerging and deadly threat to public safety that urgently needs to be addressed. Bump stocks should never have been legalized in the first place.”

Senate Bill 6049, Concerning high-capacity magazines:

  • Would prohibit the manufacture, possession, sale or transfer of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
  • Possession of a high-capacity magazine would be a gross misdemeanor.
  • Exemptions would include law enforcement officers and members of the military when on duty.
  • Introduced at the recommendation of Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle: “When a shooter enters a building with a 30-round magazine, that’s 30 people that he could kill quickly, without stopping to reload. By allowing high capacity magazines in our state, we give active shooters the ability to inflict a huge amount of damage.”

  • Senate Bill 5444, Concerning enhanced background checks and licensure for assault weapons and high capacity magazines
  • Would require enhanced background checks for the purchase of an assault weapon.
  • Today in Washington, it is easier to buy an assault weapon than a handgun. This bill would remedy that problem.
  • Introduced at the recommendation of Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle: “Today, state law treats assault weapons the same as hunting rifles. That makes them easier and faster to purchase than handguns. Given the deadly killing efficiency of these guns, that is unacceptable. We need better regulations to make sure they don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Senate Bill 6146, Relating to local government authority to regulate firearms:

  • Would allow local authorities to adopt responsible approaches to gun safety to protect their communities.
  • For more than 30 years, our local towns, cities and counties have been blocked from taking action on their own to prevent gun violence because of the statewide preemption law.

When: 10 a.m. on Jan. 15
Where: Senate Hearing Room 4, Cherberg Building