Spin Control

Gun debate flares in WA Senate

OLYMPIA -- A resolution praising a school program to teach firearms safety to kids briefly ignited the gun-control debate in the state Senate this morning.

The resolution was in support of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, which is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and offered free to schools It calls for the state's schools, pre-schools, early learning centers and licensed day care facilities to promote the use of the program.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, objected, saying the program isn't just about gun safety, "it's about the NRA". He said that organization has been working to block all gun-control legislation this session, including one of his proposals that allowed a person in mental distress to voluntarily turn a gun over to police for 30 days for safe-keeping. The majority coalition that runs the Senate has been "a bit too obedient" to the NRA, he contended.

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, said she couldn't believe anyone would vote against a child safety program, regardless of its source.

"Does Ceasefire have a program to help teach children how to be safe?" Roach asked, mentioning a prominent gun-control group. "If you're not in favor of a program to help save children's lives, vote 'No.'"

Sen. Marilyn Chase, D-Shoreline, the sponsor of the resolution, agreed the issue was about gun-safety, adding none of the Eddie Eagle literature mentions the NRA. "I am not an advocate for an organization that makes excuses for assault weapons manufacturers."

The resolution, SJM 8006, passed 40-8.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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