Policy Topics

Washington State Senate passes two critically important gun safety bills in evening session

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:

Roll Call
HB 1630
Weapons/certain meetings
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:

Roll Call
HB 1705
Untrace­able guns
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.

Andrew Villeneuve

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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