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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

February 14, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Revived gun-control bill approved 97-0 in state House

OLYMPIA — House Bill 1840 is back.

The proposal, which would require some gun owners with a restraining or protective order against them to temporarily surrender their firearms while the order is in effect, was seen last year as the one gun-control bill that could actually make it through the Washington Legislature — until it died in the state Senate, leaving supporters “seething with anger.”

(The issue was profiled in a New York Times investigation last March.)

Now it’s been revived and received a surprising 97-0 vote (with one member absent) on the state House floor this week after Democrats and Republicans agreed on compromise language.

The compromise adds more judicial oversight by preventing the surrender of guns unless the order is accompanied by an additional finding that the subject constitutes a “credible threat.”

That matches the amendment that got the bill through the Senate Law & Justice Committee unanimously last year. The chairman, strong Second Amendment supporter Mike Padden, said Thursday that he still supports the bill but cannot control what his caucus decides to do.

Last year, caucus leaders did not allow the bill to come up for a vote on the floor because of concerns that some residents would be temporarily denied a gun without due process, Padden said.

“We’ll see what happens this time,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley.

The House sponsor, state Rep. Roger Goodman, said he is confident about the bill’s prospects.

Goodman, a Kirkland Democrat who chairs the House Public Safety Committee, said even the National Rifle Association supports the amended version of the legislation as a way to protect domestic-violence victims.

“I think we’re going to get this done this year,” Goodman said.

0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: domestic violence, gun control, Mike Padden

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