gun safety

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.