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Monday, June 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  WA Government

Libraries, parks dropped from Washington gun-free zone proposal

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 21, 2019, 9:52 p.m.

The downtown Spokane Public Library shown Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The downtown Spokane Public Library shown Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA – Washington wouldn’t require public libraries and parks to be gun-free zones, but child care facilities would be, under revisions to a bill approved Thursday by a Senate committee.

The Senate Law and Justice Committee passed, on a party-line vote, a revised version of additions to state laws restricting firearms in certain places. In response to objections from library officials, it removed those facilities from the original version, and said parks could be gun-free zones only if city or county officials decide to do that.

But Democrats on the panel voted to keep the proposed restrictions for child care centers, saying people who enter can’t bring in a weapon, even if they have a concealed pistol permit, and that family day care providers must store firearms unloaded and in a safe or locked room.

Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, objected to the restrictions, saying they create more “soft targets” that will “attract folks that are out there to do harm.”

But Committee Chairman Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, said the changes were designed to avoid “the dramatically higher chance of someone getting hurt by an unsecured firearm.”

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