OLYMPIA — The state Senate on Thursday afternoon approved a bill to force residents to temporarily surrender their firearms while under restraining and protection orders.
The proposal now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee, an enthusiastic supporter.
House Bill 1840‘s unanimous Senate approval belied the difficult path the proposal has traveled since being introduced last year in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The bill passed the Democrat-controlled House overwhelmingly last year but failed in the Republican-run Senate, leaving supporters “seething with anger.”
This year, the sponsor added more judicial oversight by making the surrender happen only if the order is accompanied by an additional finding that the subject constitutes a “credible threat.”
The proposal got out of the Senate Law & Justice Committee last week, but it was still unclear if it would come to the floor.
On Thursday, Law & Justice Committee chairman Mike Padden, a conservative Republican, said even the National Rifle Association was not opposing the bill, which was “designed to conform with the firearm protections in the constitution of the state of Washington.”
Domestic-violence victims, who came to Olympia on Thursday to lobby lawmakers, rejoiced after the vote.
Courtney Weaver, 27, of Seattle, who was attacked four years ago, said in an interview that vote made her feel safer already.
“This is a great day,” Weaver said.