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Poll: Washington Ready for Olympia to Act on Gun Safety

Washington stateThe following article went out earlier today in my City View Newsletter, which you can sign up to receive here.

Washington CeaseFire unveiled a poll of statewide voter attitudes toward gun safety laws this afternoon. The results are remarkable and show that Washington voters across the political spectrum want Olympia to pass common sense gun safety laws today.

Conducted the first week of January by Alison Peters Consulting, a firm that serves both Republican and Democratic clients, the poll of 600 registered voters revealed wide and strong support for a variety of gun safety measures, including:

  • a state law to require that everyone who buys a gun at a gun show undergo a background check (87% in support);
  • a state law to increase mandatory penalties for youth firearm possession, starting with house detention at the first offense (68% in support);
  • a state law to ban semi-automatic assault weapons (66% in support);
  • a state law to limit ammunition clips on guns to 10 bullets (66% in support);
  • and a state law requiring the signature of local police on every concealed weapons permit application (66% in support).

When broken down by region, Seattle residents were generally more supportive of these measures. Perhaps more surprising, though, is that each of these changes received majority support from those polled in Eastern Washington (the more conservative 4th and 5th Congressional Districts).

The fact is we are far more unified on this issue than the gun lobby would have us believe. This information should help legislators in Olympia overcome fears of any potential political backlash.

In December, the City Council amended the City’s lobbying agenda for this year’s state legislative session to include the following specific policy goals: a ban on all assault weapons; a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines; universal background checks, including at gun shows; trigger locks and safe storage requirements; and micro-stamping technology in all firearms sold, purchased or delivered in the state to improve the capability of police to trace fired bullets.

Washington law restrict cities from enacting their own gun safety regulations, so the City Council will continue to respectfully but persistently encourage our colleagues in the State Legislature to take action. My hope is that these survey numbers will spur other local officials across the state to do the same.

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