From the AP
Democratic state lawmakers are pushing to create an office on firearm-violence prevention in order to improve data sources, collection methods and sharing mechanisms statewide.
The Seattle Times reports that Senate Bill 6288 would also help fund local evidence-based violence-reduction initiatives. The measure passed its committee vote in January, and is currently in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
King County is home to many of these initiatives, which work with community partners to intervene in the lives of young people who may be headed toward violence or crime.
Proponents of the bill say it would allow communities to decide how to best address their unique experience with gun violence. For example, some rural communities may face more gun-related suicides than interpersonal violence.
“This is a way of getting ahead of gun violence in our state,” prime sponsor Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, said. Dhingra is a senior deputy prosecuting attorney in King County.
But some Republicans say the bill is a partisan push for gun control. Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, argues that creating another state office is unnecessary, and is skeptical as to whether the proposed office would act as an advocacy group for gun restrictions.