The state’s prohibition on public possession of firearms on school properties would be extended to apply to child-care facilities, under legislation heard today before the Senate Law & Justice Committee.
“We know statistically that domestic violence is more likely to turn deadly when a spouse owns a gun, and we know that children often wind up in the center of domestic abuse situations,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor and vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. “Since we also know that domestic violence frequently spills out into public venues, facilities, where children learn or are cared for, are logical places to safeguard.”
Senate Bill 5434 would make it a gross misdemeanor for anyone to enter a child-care facility or area used for child-care activities while possessing a firearm, air pistol, stun gun or other dangerous weapons.
“Reducing gun violence is a serious concern for me, for my neighbors in the 30th Legislative District, and for families in communities across our state,” Wilson said. “It’s imperative that we take smart steps to meet public expectations that children should be safe in their schools and in other facilities to which they entrust their care.”
For 25 years at the Puget Sound Educational Services District, Wilson was an administrator in early education and family involvement. In addition to teaching in Tacoma schools, she was a senior grants and contracts manager for the City of Seattle’s teen parent programs.
“If it makes sense to keep deadly weapons off school campuses, it makes just as much sense to keep them away from child-care facilities,” Wilson said. “Shootings in schools and other public settings are occurring so often that they’ve become normalized — and that’s a norm no civilized society should ever accept.”
Update: Senator Wilson’s Senior Communication Specialist, Rick Manugian, shared that “[Senate Bill 5434] was passed out of the K-12 Education Committee and is likely to come to the floor for a full vote of the Senate in the coming week or so.” Once the bill has been voted on, an update will be issued.
The above is a press release from Senator Claire Wilson (D-Auburn, 30th District). The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents. The Auburn Examiner obtained the update directly from Rick Manugian.