NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, February 21st, 2022

A huge majority of Washington voters support prohibiting guns at local government meeting facilities and election sites, NPI poll finds

About two-thirds of vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton State back leg­is­la­tion to pro­hib­it the car­ry­ing of firearms at local gov­ern­ment pub­lic meet­ing facil­i­ties and elec­tion sites, a poll con­duct­ed last week for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute has found.

66% of sev­en hun­dred like­ly 2022 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers sur­veyed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling (PPP) for NPI expressed sup­port for this pro­pos­al to pre­vent gun vio­lence and pro­tect our democ­ra­cy while just 29% were opposed and 5% were not sure. 57% of the total sur­veyed expressed strong support.

Spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tana Senn (D‑41st Dis­trict: Mer­cer Island, Belle­vue, New­cas­tle), House Bill 1630 pro­hibits the open car­ry and pos­ses­sion of firearms and oth­er pro­hib­it­ed weapons at local gov­ern­ment meet­ing facil­i­ties, includ­ing those used by school boards, city coun­cils, and coun­ty leg­isla­tive bodies.

The bill applies the same pro­hi­bi­tion to elec­tion-relat­ed offices and facilities.

There are excep­tions. As the non­par­ti­san staff analy­sis explains: “These restric­tions do not apply to any fed­er­al, state, or local law enforce­ment offi­cer; or any secu­ri­ty per­son­nel hired by a coun­ty and engaged in pro­vid­ing secu­ri­ty for a count­ing cen­ter, a vot­ing cen­ter, a stu­dent engage­ment hub; or the coun­ty elec­tions and vot­er reg­is­tra­tion office or areas of facil­i­ties used for such purposes.

HB 1630 passed the House 57–41 on Feb­ru­ary 14th, 2022.

The Sen­ate Law & Jus­tice Com­mit­tee heard tes­ti­mo­ny on HB 1630 this morn­ing, includ­ing from Thurston Coun­ty Audi­tor Mary Hall, Spokane City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Breean Beg­gs, Cam­den Weber of the Brady Cen­ter to Pre­vent Gun Vio­lence, and Lyn Ida­hosa-Berry of the Fed­er­al Way Black Col­lec­tive. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the bill is opposed by the gun lob­by, includ­ing the Nation­al Rifle Association.

Forty peo­ple signed up to tes­ti­fy pro or con; most were not called due to time con­straints. 1,791 sign-ins from peo­ple not wish­ing to tes­ti­fy were also recorded.

The Leg­is­la­ture pre­vi­ous­ly enact­ed a law that for­bids the car­ry­ing of firearms on the Wash­ing­ton State Capi­tol Cam­pus and at protests.

HB 1630 would sen­si­bly expand sim­i­lar pro­tec­tions to the local lev­el — a move that our research shows is enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly sup­port­ed by Wash­ing­to­ni­ans in every region of the state, includ­ing East­ern and Cen­tral Washington.

Here is the ques­tion that we asked and the respons­es we received:

QUESTION: Do you strong­ly sup­port, some­what sup­port, some­what oppose or strong­ly oppose pro­hibit­ing firearms from being car­ried at local gov­ern­ment pub­lic meet­ing facil­i­ties and at elec­tion sites, except by sworn law enforce­ment offi­cers, trained secu­ri­ty guards, and on-duty servicemembers?


  • Sup­port: 66% 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 57%
    • Some­what sup­port: 9%
  • Oppose: 29%
    • Some­what oppose: 8%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 21%
  • Not sure: 5%


  • King Coun­ty (68% total sup­port, 16% opposition) 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 61%
    • Some­what sup­port: 7%
    • Some­what oppose: 9%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 18%
    • Not sure: 5%
  • North Puget Sound (70% total sup­port, 27% opposition) 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 57%
    • Some­what sup­port: 13%
    • Some­what oppose: 5%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 22%
    • Not sure: 4%
  • South Sound (65% total sup­port, 27% opposition) 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 50%
    • Some­what sup­port: 15%
    • Some­what oppose: 9%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 18%
    • Not sure: 7%
  • Olympic Penin­su­la and South­west Wash­ing­ton (70% total sup­port, 29% opposition) 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 68%
    • Some­what sup­port: 2%
    • Some­what oppose: 7%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 22%
    • Not sure: 1%
  • East­ern and Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton (56% total sup­port; 35% total opposition) 
    • Strong­ly sup­port: 47%
    • Some­what sup­port: 9%
    • Some­what oppose: 11%
    • Strong­ly oppose: 24%
    • Not sure: 9%

Our sur­vey of 700 like­ly 2022 Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers was in the field from Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 17th through Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 18th, 2022.

It uti­lizes a blend­ed method­ol­o­gy, with auto­mat­ed phone calls to land­lines (50%) and text mes­sage answers from cell phone only respon­dents (50%).

The poll was con­duct­ed by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute and has a mar­gin of error of +/- 3.7% at the 95% con­fi­dence interval.

More infor­ma­tion about the survey’s method­ol­o­gy is avail­able here.

It’s not every day that we see sup­port this high — and intense! — for a bill like HB 1630. While we have found extreme­ly strong sup­port for gun safe­ty leg­is­la­tion and ini­tia­tives going back years in our polling, we were impressed with how strong­ly HB 1630 res­onat­ed with vot­ers, includ­ing vot­ers in rur­al areas.

Pro­hibit­ing the car­ry­ing of weapons at local gov­ern­ment meet­ing facil­i­ties and elec­tion sites except by law enforce­ment and secu­ri­ty forces will enable our local elect­ed offi­cials to cre­ate safe, wel­com­ing envi­ron­ments for everyone.

The Sen­ate should join the House in pass­ing HB 1630 with­in the next few days and get this extreme­ly pop­u­lar leg­is­la­tion to Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s desk.

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2 Pings

  1. […] robust enthu­si­asm that we found for ban­ning high-capac­i­­ty mag­a­zines mir­rors the impres­sive sup­port we found for a bill that is also pend­ing in the Leg­is­la­ture to pr… (HB 1630). Our find­ing is also con­sis­tent with the extreme­ly strong sup­port for gun […]

  2. […] About two-thirds of 2022 like­ly Wash­ing­ton State vot­ers sur­veyed for NPI last month supp…. […]

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