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Washington State News

“Your turn, Congress” Jay Inslee Calls for Policy Changes to Reduce Gun Violence

OLYMPIA – In a statement following Tuesday’s violent tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee called out Congress, stating the event “once again highlights the overwhelming need for policies to reduce gun violence.”

“We must strengthen laws around gun violence to save lives. The public and our children are paying the price of the gun lobby’s cynical interests. ENOUGH,” Inslee said on Tuesday. “Want to show you care about kids and our communities? A few ideas: universal background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines, ghost guns and bump stocks, and unsafe storage liability. Washington has done this, and more. Your turn, Congress.”

Inslee pointed out that during the past several years, Washington voters and the Legislature have passed policies to reduce and prevent gun violence related to domestic violence, suicide, community violence, and mass shootings. Policies include universal background checks, an increase in the purchasing age for semi-automatic weapons, liability for people who don’t secure their firearms, and extreme risk protection orders – sometimes called “red flag laws.”

In the most recent legislative session, Governor Inslee signed bills to ban high-capacity magazines, untraceable ghost guns, and open carrying of firearms in certain public settings such as local government meetings and election-related facilities.

He believes more work remains to prevent gun violence in Washington state. The state’s recently-created Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention promotes a data-driven approach to policy-making and investments. The office partners closely with communities, public health leaders, law enforcement, and others to identify strategies for different communities and different types of gun violence.