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

February 28, 2014 at 9:35 AM

State Senate panel approves gun-control bill

A state Senate committee this morning overwhelmingly approved this legislative session’s lone politically feasible gun-control bill, clearing the proposal for its final — and most difficult — test.

House Bill 1840 now must be approved by the full Senate, a Republican-controlled chamber that has proven unfriendly to new gun restrictions.

The proposal would require some gun owners with a restraining or protective order against them to temporarily surrender their firearms while the order is in effect, or face a felony.

It would mark the first time that Washington state has allowed guns to be confiscated before someone is convicted of a crime or involuntarily committed for mental-health treatment, said prime sponsor Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, who has repeatedly said the measure would save lives.

Goodman and state Sen. Mike Padden, a Spokane Valley Republican who chairs the Senate Law & Justice Committee, reached agreement on the bill by adding more judicial oversight — preventing the surrender of guns unless the order is accompanied by an additional finding that the subject constitutes a “credible threat.”

The compromise was so uncontroversial that it did not even warrant a debate in Padden’s committee Friday morning.

After a brief description of the bill, the committee voted by voice to send the proposal forward.

0 Comments | More in homepage, State Legislature | Topics: gun control, House Bill 1840, Mike Padden

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