gun safety

Gun Control Fight Heads Toward Wash. Ballot

Apr 29, 2013
Liz Jones / KUOW

Advocates for stricter gun laws in Washington state launched a campaign today to take the issue to voters. This comes after state lawmakers voted down a similar bill to expand background checks on gun sales.

A day after the U.S. Senate voted down attempts to expand background checks for gun sales, a similar measure is moving ahead in the Oregon Senate. It was one of four bills to toughen state gun laws that advanced on a party line vote Thursday.

Here's what the Oregon bills would do:

Hundreds of people turned out to the Oregon Capitol Friday to testify at a Senate hearing on four proposed gun control bills.

One of the measures would ban guns from school grounds, and another would ban people from openly carrying a weapon in public buildings. The third bill would require more training to get a concealed carry permit. And the last would require criminal background checks for all private gun sales in Oregon.

Both sides of the debate were well represented.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers will hear hours of testimony Friday on a slate of bills aimed at curbing gun violence. Supporters of stricter gun laws rallied at the capitol Thursday in advance of the hearing.

Gina Saracco was shopping for Christmas gifts at the Clackamas Town Center mall last December when shots rang out. A gunman killed two people and wounded another before killing himself. Saracco told ralliers that her fear turned to anger when days later 26 people were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

SALEM, Ore. – Gun legislation is gaining momentum at the Oregon capitol. A Senate panel has scheduled a marathon hearing on a slate of measures that would require more background checks and limit where people could carry guns. The hearing is set for next Friday, April 5.

Gun Control Advocates Regroup After Failed Bill

Mar 15, 2013

Gun control advocates are regrouping this week. They’re looking at their options, now that a bill to broaden background checks for gun sales failed in the Washington legislature. They want to seize a moment when they believe public sentiment is on their side. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A controversial proposal to require criminal background checks for most gun purchases appears to have died in the Washington House. That announcement came Tuesday night after two days of efforts to wrangle enough votes to pass the measure.

The Washington House is expected to vote later Monday on a proposal to require background checks for all gun sales. Governor Jay Inslee has enlisted the help of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to help muster the votes for the controversial measure. Giffords was shot in the head in Arizona in 2011. Inslee, a Democrat, told reporters he spoke with Giffords Monday morning.

Photo courtesy Washington Legislature

The fate of a universal background check measure in the Washington state House could be decided this week. Wednesday is a key cut-off deadline. Recently the gun control measure lost a pivotal “yes” vote. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins explains.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Efforts to get gun rights leaders in Washington to support -- or at least not oppose -- universal background checks appear to have hit a stumbling block. At issue is a state database that tracks pistol sales. Second Amendment advocates want it shut down, but the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs say it’s a vital law enforcement tool.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gun control advocates in Washington are banding together to turn up the heat on state lawmakers. In the coming days, they plan to announce the formation of a new grassroots lobbying coalition. Their first target is passage of universal background check legislation.

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has seed money from Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Other founders are Seattle city councilwoman Sally Bagshaw, former council member Tina Podlodowski and Seattle writer and activist Eric Liu.

SALEM, Ore. – Corrections officers in Oregon say they need the option of being armed while they commute to and from work. Lawmakers are considering a measure to overturn a rule that bans corrections officers from bringing personal guns to the grounds of state prisons.

The 2009 personal gun rule applies to employees and visitors at most state buildings. More than a dozen lawmakers have signed onto a bill that would allow corrections officers to bring their personal weapons with them to work, as long as they leave them in a locked gun box inside their vehicle.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bill to require background checks for private gun sales is one step closer to a final vote. Tuesday, members of a Washington House committee voted seven to six.

Republican Rep. Jay Rodne opposed the bill, saying it would not be enforceable.

“We’re going to drain precious law enforcement resources to policing this measure,” he says.

But, Republican Rep. Mike Hope, a police officer, said this measure could help prevent shootings like what happened in Newtown, Conn.

 Sheriffs, prosecutors, social service providers and others attended a summit on gun violence Wednesday, convened by U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. The sessions focused on mental health, the legal tools for  disarming dangerous people and other public safety topics.

Washington Senate Passes Funding For School Security

Feb 12, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving ahead with their first education-spending bill of the year. The state Senate voted Monday to approve a $500 million in school construction bonds. Ten million of that would go to equip every school with a panic alarm by 2014, among other security measures.

Democratic Sen. Sharon Nelson said this was a step toward increasing gun safety. She says her next goal is to create more background checks for gun buyers.

LACEY, Wash. – Thousands of gun owners plan to rally in Olympia and Salem Friday. They’re showing their support for the second amendment and opposition to gun control proposals. The rallies come as gun sales in the Northwest are brisk -- and so are the required background checks.

At the Aging and Disability Services office in Lacey, the fax machine drones on and on.

Robert Nelson / Flickr

Democratic lawmakers in both Washington and Oregon are working on measures to require background checks for all gun sales. A universal check proposal was introduced Wednesday in the Washington House. A similar bill is expected in the Oregon Senate soon.

Lawmakers Consider Increasing Penalties For Illegal Guns

Jan 24, 2013
Northwest News Network

Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier to lock up juveniles who carry guns illegally. Currently, it takes five felony convictions on firearms charges before someone under 18 is sent to a juvenile lockup.

Shootings Push Mental Health Into Spotlight In Salem

Jan 23, 2013
Photo by Steve Morgan / Wikimedia Commons

Recent mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut have thrust mental health issues into the spotlight. Some Oregon lawmakers and mental health advocates hope there's enough momentum to keep the conversation front and center. Unlike gun control, there is a consensus that appears to be emerging on funding mental health programs.

Armed Gun Rights Advocates Rally At Washington Capitol

Jan 21, 2013
Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Netwrk

Several hundred gun rights advocates – many of them armed – rallied at the Washington state Capitol Saturday. Their purpose was to protest any new gun control measures. Similar rallies were organized in Salem, Boise and Coeur d'Alene. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

  Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has joined several other Oregon sheriffs in sending a letter to Vice President Joe Biden. He and sheriffs from Grant, Linn and Crook Counties oppose potential federal laws that could affect law-abiding gun owners.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington lawmakers convene for the start of the 2013 session. They face a $2 billion budget problem, an unusual political dynamic in the state senate and hot button issues like gun control. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this preview.

Inslee Weighs In On Gun Control

Jan 10, 2013

As the federal debate over assault weapons continues, Washington’s Governor-elect Jay Inslee weighed in on the matter in his first public comments since the election.

Wikimedia Commons

 Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says in the days to come he will be listening for ideas on how to prevent the kind of school violence that occurred in Connecticut Friday. Inslee did not indicate if that would include gun control proposals.

Keith LaFaille / Flickr

An Oregon lawmaker wants to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines in the wake of Tuesday's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center.

Mall Shooting Victim Expected To Survive

Dec 12, 2012
Photo by Steve Morgan / Wikimedia Commons

Two people, plus the suspected shooter, are dead after police say a gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping mall in suburban Portland Tuesday. An ambulance took one survivor of the attack to OHSU Medical Center in Portland. The young woman is expected to survive. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A rash of accidental shootings involving kids and unsecured guns has some Washington lawmakers considering a change in the law. A legislative panel will meet Friday to discuss ways to prevent children from getting their hands on firearms.

Gun Sales Expected to be Up for Black Friday

Nov 23, 2012
N3

Gun stores are among the retailers expecting bigger than usual sales today. The national trade group that represents the gun and ammunition industry says Black Friday could set a record for the number of background checks performed.  Those are required by the F-B-I for gun purchases.  

Seattle city council members say the spate of shootings in the city has heightened their interest in seeking new gun control regulations. But they say they’re proceeding carefully, since the city’s previous ban on guns in parks was struck down by the courts.

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