Dear friends and neighbors,
We’re in the final stretch of legislative session. It feels like just yesterday we were eager to begin and now we only have 12 days left. The last several days have been action-packed in the Washington Legislature. I want to share with you a quick update on some very important legislation that is moving forward.
Common-sense gun safety
In a historic vote, and after hours of deliberation, the Senate passed HB 1240 on a 27-21 vote to prohibit the sale, manufacture and import of assault weapons in Washington state. This measure will protect our kids, reduce gun violence and place public safety over the interests of the gun industry. Because the bill was amended in the Senate, it must return to the House for concurrence. If the bill receives final passage, Washington will join nine other states in banning assault weapons— a huge step in the right direction towards saving lives.
Additionally, the Senate passed HB 1143 which will require would-be gun owners to be trained and screened and wait 10 days before they can walk off with a firearm. It passed the House along mostly partisan lines this year and passed the Senate 28-18 on Friday after republican opposition.
SB 5078, which also recently passed the House, holds manufacturers and retailers accountable for failing to make sure guns do not get into the hands of people who should not have them. It requires firearm industry members to establish and implement reasonable controls for the manufacture, sale, and marketing of their products. This bill would give victims the right to hold retailers accountable for their breaches of the law. The gun industry has broad immunity from essentially all legal challenges. No other industry enjoys protection like this, and none should.
As lawmakers, we have the responsibility to protect our constituents and make decisions that benefit the greater good. Every day, innocent lives are lost to mass shootings, and families are left devastated and broken. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this issue and allow these weapons of war to be sold on our streets. We also cannot allow special interests and political agendas to cloud our judgment on this critical issue. I have been a long-time champion of gun safety and I firmly believe that it is not only our duty, but our moral obligation to protect the lives of our neighbors. I am a proud cosponsor of these bills and I am proud that Washington is taking these steps to save lives.
Doxing, short for “dropping documents,” is the act of gathering and publishing personal information about an individual or organization without their consent. I am pleased to share that HB 1335, which addresses this harmful practice, has passed in both chambers and will soon go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. This bill prohibits the publication of an individuals’ personal identifying information without consent when the publication is made with intent of causing harm to the individual. The practice of doxing has become increasingly common in the digital age, with individuals and groups using it as a tool to intimidate, harass, or blackmail their targets. I proudly sponsored the Senate companion bill and voted in favor of the House bill which has now passed both chambers.
I firmly believe that hate crimes, swatting and doxing are all harmful and destructive practices that have no place in our society, and I support legislation that holds those responsible for these acts accountable. These practices not only harm individuals but also create a culture of fear and mistrust. Washington state’s strength lies in its diversity and unity, where hate and violence have no place. Doxing is damaging and has far-reaching consequences, not just for the survivors, but for society as a whole. We cannot sit idly by and allow these harmful behaviors to continue unchecked. We must make it clear that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in Washington.
Stay in touch
Legislative session is almost over but our work continues. Thank you to everyone who keeps reaching out. Follow me on social media for legislative session updates and to see the work I’m doing for our district.
It is always great to hear from you and I look forward to hearing more about your priorities. Send me an email at Javier.Valdez@leg.wa.gov or give me a call at 360-786-7690.