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Spin Control

Posts tagged: gun 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.

Sunday Spin: Tough sledding on gun bills

OLYMPIA – The massacre of first graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary may result in some major national gun-control legislation this year. Too soon to tell.

But it may also block some smaller gun-related legislation in Washington state. At least that’s what several Senate Democrats contended Friday afternoon after an unusual meeting of the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

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Background check bill passes House panel

 

OLYMPIA – A bill requiring almost all gun buyers in Washington to undergo a background check passed a key House panel Tuesday and will likely be part of a package of gun laws up for a floor vote in March.

Despite heavy criticism last week from gun-rights activists, the House Judiciary Committee passed the so-called Universal Background Check bill on a 7-6 vote.

It would require buyers in most private firearms sales either to submit to the same background check they would undergo if buying the gun at a licensed dealer or to produce a valid state concealed pistol license. . .

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WWJD about guns? Gun bill debate offers answers

OLYMPIA – What would Jesus do about gun control? A debate between a Spokane Valley legislator and a Seattle minister seemed to raise that question Wednesday in a hearing on proposals for new gun laws.

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, and the Rev. Sanford Brown of the 1st United Methodist Church of Seattle seemed to be quoting from the same Bible, but came up with different answers.

Senate passes school security bill

OLYMPIA – Washington state would spend $10 million over the next two years in an effort protect schools from a massacre like Sandy Hook as part of a school construction proposal that moved quickly through the Senate Monday.

With references to the Dec. 14 massacre at the school in Newtown, Conn., the Senate unanimously approved spending $475 million on school construction over the next two years, with $10 million of it going to make schools safer.

Republicans said the school construction package was a sign they were meeting goals to move their priorities of education, smart budgeting and jobs. The accompanying Safe School Buildings bill has the added benefit of paying for ways to protect schools from an attacker and get police there faster if they are needed, said Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup.

Democrats said the school safety measures were a good first start, but called for GOP support on bills they introduced Monday that take further steps to curb gun violence. The state needs better laws on firearms safety and more support for mental health services, Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Seattle, said…

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WA Lege Day 26: Gun rights activists come armed

Fred Sittmann of Stanwood, Wash., listens to speakers at Friday's gun rights rally.

OLYMPIA – Second Amendment activists came well-armed to a Capitol Campus rally Friday where legislators promised to protect their freedom to have firearms and speakers denounced President Obama and gun control.

With the Legislature considering proposals to ban some firearms and high capacity clips or require background checks for all gun sales, some speakers urged the crowd to prepare for a fight over their gun rights.

But Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, predicted that even if those restrictions  pass the Democratic-controlled House “they will die in the Washington state Senate” . . . 

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Firearms Freedom law prospects dim

OLYMPIA — A bill to exempt firearms made and sold in Washington from federal gun laws was introduced by 10 House Republicans today, but their leader said it's unlikely the bill will come to a vote, let alone become law.

A bill titled the Firearms Freedom Act would exempt “personal firearms,” as well as ammunition and accessories. that are made in Washington and stay within the state's borders from current or future federal restrictions and registration.

Any federal ban on semi-automatic weapons couldn't be enforced, under House Bill 1371. Local officials wouldn't be able to enforce federal laws, and federal officials who tried could face penalties up to five years in jail or a $10,000 fine. During a declared state of emergency, a governor couldn't restrict the possession, sale or transfer of personal firearms.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Spokane-area legislators Matt Shea and Larry Crouse of Spokane Valley, Joe Schmick of Colfax and Shelly Short of Addy.

House Republican Leader Richard Debolt of Chehalis said Thursday that while most members of the GOP caucus support firearms freedom, there's no official position on HB 1371. The bill has little prospect for passage because it “wouldn't do very well” in Democratic-controlled House.

There may be some legislation regarding gun control House Republicans will support this session, DeBolt said, but it's likely to be stiffer penalties for juveniles who use firearms during a crime.

Inslee: Coal port study must include routes through state

Jay Inslee takes questions during his first press conference as governor.

OLYMPIA — State and federal agencies studying potential impacts of a new coal terminals near Bellingham must consider the effects of increased train traffic on Spokane and other cities around the state, Gov. Jay Inslee said today.

At his first press conference after being sworn in as governor, Inslee also said he supports restrictions on high-capacity magazines as part of comprehensive package to address gun violence and would consider extending temporary taxes set to expire this year as part of a plan to close the state's projected budget shortfall and increase money for public schools.

On coal ports and the trains that will feed them, Inslee said he was “absolutely clear” on one point: “We've got to have a complete, consistent, reliable evaluation of all of the impacts directly in the state of Washington, which certainly includes transportation impacts.”

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Inslee: No panacea for gun violence

Govenor-elect Inslee addresses a legislative preview session.

OLYMPIA – The Legislature should consider a wide range of options in a search to increase gun safety and reduce the threat of violence, Governor-elect Jay Inslee said Thursday.

“There is no panacea, no one solution,” Inslee said at a press conference during a preview of the upcoming legislative session sponsored by the Associated Press. “But that’s not a reason for inaction.”

On other topics, Inslee – who takes the oath of office Wednesday – repeated campaign promises to try closing the state’s budget gap through government efficiencies and an improved economy but without new taxes. He called for a thorough review of plans to increase coal train traffic in the state, and said immediate changes to the new state law on legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use were unlikely.

As a congressman, Inslee voted for a ban . . . 

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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