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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

WALeg Day 47: Sheena’s Law on gun notification passes Senate

OLYMPIA -- Family members could be warned before police return guns to a person who had them seized by law enforcement, under a bill approved unanimously this morning by the Senate.

Known as the Sheena Henderson Act for a woman fatally shot by her husband at Deaconess Hospital last summer, the bill is designed to let family members request to be notified before a person with a history of mental health or domestic violence gets guns back that were seized by police. 

Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said Henderson's family told legislators in hearings over the bill that if she had known her husband Chris had retrieved his gun from police, she would have taken extra precautions and could be alive today. A few weeks before the shooting, Chris Henderson had his guns seized when police intervened in a suicide attempt. But after being referred to law enforcement for another possible suicide attempt and later released, he went to the Spokane police station and retrieved the gun. 

The next day he went to he floor at Deaconess where Sheena Henderson worked, killed her and then himself.

"This is a notification bill. It is not what anybody could call a gun control bill," Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said.



Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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