Lawmakers clash over firearms legislation

— State lawmakers introduced a multitude of gun-control bills early this session.

More than 10 firearm bills were introduced and led to heated debate throughout January.

Four still have a chance to become law, having passed the cutoff deadline, Wednesday, Feb. 14.

“We are not doing nearly enough to regulate access to weapons designed to cause mass casualties. We can do better if we choose to do better,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday, the day after news broke about a 19-year-old who opened fire at a high school Florida killing 17 people.

“Thoughts and Prayers are not enough,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, sponsor of two gun regulation bills that missed their deadline.

But Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, said Thursday more laws on guns are not going to make schools safer.

The Legislature, he said, should instead focus on funding school programs for armed guards at schools, training teachers to handle weapons, and allowing school districts to decide for themselves what policy works best for them.

“This is not a gun issue, this is a mental health issue,” Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, said suggesting lawmakers focus more on comprehensive mental health bills than gun-control legislation.


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