A pair of extremely important, much needed gun safety bills previously approved by the House of Representatives each received constitutional majorities in the Washington State Senate tonight and are one step closer to becoming laws.
House Bill 1630, which prohibits the carrying of weapons at local government meeting facilities and election sites, passed the Senate with a vote of 28 to 20, while House Bill 1705, which would toughen state laws to protect Washingtonians against untraceable “ghost” guns, passed the Senate with a vote of 26 to 23.
66% of Washingtonians surveyed for NPI two weeks ago support HB 1630, with a majority of the respondents strongly supportive. We released that poll finding about one week ago, on the day HB 1630 had its Senate public hearing.
Although HB 1630 has support among voters of all ideologies and all regions of the state according to our research, Republicans in the Senate refused to support the bill, and it passed with Democratic votes only.
The roll call on HB 1630 was as follows:
3rd Reading & Final Passage as Amended by the Senate
Yeas: 28; Nays: 20; Absent: 1
Voting Yea: Senators Billig, Carlyle, Cleveland, Conway, Das, Dhingra, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Lovick, Mullet, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Randall, Robinson, Rolfes, Saldaña, Salomon, Stanford, Trudeau, Van De Wege, Wellman, Wilson (Claire)
Voting Nay: Senators Braun, Brown, Dozier, Fortunato, Gildon, Hawkins, Holy, Honeyford, King, McCune, Muzzall, Padden, Schoesler, Sefzik, Sheldon, Short, Wagoner, Warnick, Wilson (Jeff), Wilson (Lynda)
Absent: Senator Rivers
Senator Ann Rivers was the only senator who did not cast a vote.
Due to having been amended in the Senate, the bill now goes back to the House. The House can ask the Senate to recede from its amendments, or it can concur in the amendments and send the bill to Governor Inslee. If the House asks the Senate to recede and it refuses to, the bill would be subjected to the conference committee process to reconcile the differences between the two chambers.
The Democratic caucus did not stay fully united on HB 1705, the “ghost gun” bill, which would restrict the manufacture, assembly, sale, transfer, purchase, possession, and receipt of untraceable firearms, along with the sale, transfer, purchase, transport, and receipt of unfinished frames and receivers.
The roll call on HB 1705 was as follows:
3rd Reading & Final Passage
Yeas: 26; Nays: 23
Voting Yea: Senators Billig, Carlyle, Cleveland, Conway, Das, Dhingra, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Lovick, Mullet, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Robinson, Rolfes, Saldaña, Salomon, Stanford, Trudeau, Wellman, Wilson, C.
Voting Nay: Senators Braun, Brown, Dozier, Fortunato, Gildon, Hawkins, Holy, Honeyford, King, McCune, Muzzall, Padden, Randall, Rivers, Schoesler, Sefzik, Sheldon, Short, Van De Wege, Wagoner, Warnick, Wilson, J., Wilson, L.
As with HB 1630, HB 1705 was opposed by the Republican caucus.
Democratic Senators Kevin Van De Wege (D‑24th District: Olympia Peninsula) and Emily Randall (D‑26th District: North Pierce County, South Kitsap County) joined them in voting no. Senator Van De Wege is from a rural coastal district with an electorate where there are a higher number of gun enthusiasts than other legislative districts represented by Democrats. Senator Randall is a frontline member facing a tough reelection campaign. As the Senate only needed twenty-five votes to pass the bill, their opposition was not a problem for HB 1705.
HB 1705 wasn’t amended in the Senate — a number of amendments offered by Republicans like Phil Fortunato and Keith Wagoner were rejected in floor debate — so the bill now heads to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.
NPI congratulates the Senate on the passage of these historic and much needed gun safety bills. Contrary to what Senator Ron Muzzall and other Republicans said in floor debate tonight, these new laws will make a difference for Washington’s families and communities. Gun violence is preventable, but only if we work together to make protecting each other a priority. That is what these new laws will do. They provide tools with with we can protect ourselves and each other.
No Washingtonian needs an untraceable gun, and no Washingtonian should be bringing weapons to a local government meeting. These new gun safety laws will make our communities safer and happier. Every Washingtonian deserves a healthy and peaceful future that’s free of gun violence and its horrors.