Childcare facilities would carry the same prohibitions on deadly weapons as K-12 schools, under legislation passed today by the Senate.
“When parents send their kids off to school, they expect these facilities and grounds to be safe and secure,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor. “The state already prohibits people from possessing firearms on K-12 school campuses. This bill simply extends that same common-sense policy to childcare facilities.”
Wilson, the vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, said Senate Bill 5434 would help keep pre-school-age children safe from the deadly shootings that are spilling into public venues with increasing frequency.
“We should take all reasonable steps to maximize safety at facilities where children learn or are cared for,” Wilson said. “It just makes sense to make sure all our children are safe from firearms and gun violence in what we assume to be safe spaces.”
Wilson’s bill prohibits the possession of firearms on the premises of any licensed childcare center, childcare center provided-transportation, or other childcare center facility. The bill would also require family day care providers to keep any firearm on premises in a locked gun safe or unloaded in a locked room with a trigger lock or other disabling device. In addition, the bill would allow a local government to prohibit possession of a firearm in other popular sites for small children, such as parks and park facilities.
“If firearm prohibitions make sense for our schools, then they make just as much sense for child-care facilities and other areas where small children are likely to learn or play,” Wilson said. “Parents deserve some assurance their children will be safe from deadly gun violence in classic child venues like care facilities and public parks.”
Having passed the Senate on a 26-21 vote, the bill now goes to the House for consideration there.
The above is a press release from Senator Claire Wilson’s Office. The following Senators also sponsored this bill: Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Nguyen, Pedersen. The Auburn Examiner did not independently verify the contents of this release, except to confirm the sponsors of the bill.