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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gun check bill clears key House committee

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.

What would Jesus do about gun control?

OLYMPIA – What would Jesus do about gun control? A debate between a Spokane Valley legislator and a Seattle minister essentially posed that question Wednesday in a packed hearing on proposed new gun laws.

Washington school safety funding wins OK

OLYMPIA – Washington state would spend $10 million over the next two years to protect schools as part of a construction proposal that moved quickly through the state Senate on Monday. With references to the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary 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.

Washington state Capitol allows firearms

OLYMPIA – For Rep. David Taylor, a gun is like an article of clothing. He wears it everywhere – even on the floor of the state House of Representatives. “I’ve carried for so long that it’s second nature to me. It’s almost like, if for some reason I don’t have it with me, I feel like I’m missing my wallet,” said Taylor, a two-term Republican from Moxee, in Yakima County.

Hundreds rally for guns in Olympia

OLYMPIA – Second Amendment activists came well-armed Friday to a Capitol Campus rally, where Washington legislators promised to protect broad access to firearms and speakers denounced President Barack 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.

Shawn Vestal: Nailing down the hammer analogy

Perhaps you’ve come across the latest low-water mark in our debate about guns. It is the assertion – made recently in Spokane City Council chambers and at a public forum in Coeur d’Alene, as well as in the echoing void of the all-guns-at-all-costs universe – that hammers kill more people than assault weapons. Hammers! Outrageous!

Conservation groups join boycott of Pa. outdoors show

Two of the nation’s largest hunting-oriented conservation groups have joined a fast-growing Second Amendment-based boycott of the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show in Harrisburg, Pa. The Missoula-based Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation have joined more than 200 other vendors and outdoor celebrities who have backed out of the show after organizers prohibited exhibitors for assault-syle rifles.

Firearms Freedom Act bill unlikely to pass

OLYMPIA – A bill to exempt firearms made and sold in Washington state from current or future federal gun laws was introduced by 10 House Republicans Thursday, but the GOP leader admitted the bill likely won’t come to a vote, let alone become law. The proposed 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.

Inslee wants coal ports, trains studied

OLYMPIA – State and federal agencies studying potential impacts of a new coal terminal near Bellingham must consider the increased train traffic in Spokane and other cities around the state, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday. At his first news 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 he’d consider extending temporary taxes due to expire this year as part of a plan to close the state’s projected budget shortfall and increase money for public schools.

Lawmakers react to gun bill

WASHINGTON – Inland Northwest lawmakers gave mixed reviews to President Barack Obama’s gun control proposals unveiled Wednesday. Washington’s Democratic senators lauded the $500 million package of proposals as the right move at the right time. Republican lawmakers questioned the reach of Obama’s plans and whether they’d have the desired effect on violent crime.

Gun fight ahead for Obama

WASHINGTON – Conceding “this will be difficult,” President Barack Obama, in an emotion-laden plea to curb gun violence in America, urged a reluctant Congress on Wednesday to require background checks for all gun sales and ban both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The president’s sweeping, $500 million plan, coming one month after the school massacre in Connecticut, marks the most comprehensive effort to tighten gun laws in nearly two decades. But his proposals, most of which are opposed by the National Rifle Association, face a doubtful future in a divided Congress where Republicans control the House.