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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is breaking with tradition and will endorse a ballot measure dealing with guns. 

Will James / KNKX

Crowds have cleared since this weekend's rallies against gun violence, but students leading local demonstrations say they have no intention of stopping.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Students around the Puget Sound region, from Seattle to Renton to Gig Harbor, poured out of class as part of the national walkout against gun violence.

At Ingraham High School in North Seattle, hundreds of students gathered on the soccer field. They stood in silence to honor the victims of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

Richard Vogel / AP Photo

Students at schools across the Puget Sound region are planning to walk out Wednesday as part of a nationwide protest to mark the one-month anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

After the recent mass shooting in Florida, Washington state lawmakers faced immense pressure to enact gun control legislation. But a bill to address school shootings made little progress, despite Democratic control of the House and Senate.

More than 100 Washington high school students rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday demanding restrictions on purchases of military-style weapons and tougher background checks.

A new Washington state law designed to crack down on felons, domestic abusers and others who lie and try to buy a gun is already resulting in prosecutions.

The Washington Legislature has sent a ban on bump stocks to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. A bump stock is a trigger modification device that make a semi-automatic rifle function more like an automatic weapon.

Washington Lawmakers Propose Assault Rifle Restrictions

Feb 27, 2018

Washington state lawmakers are fast-tracking legislation aimed at increasing school safety and preventing mass shootings.

They’re reintroducing a proposal that would require buyers of military-style weapons to be 21 instead of 18. It would also enhance background checks for purchases and create a way for students to report potential threats to their school.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

During a gathering with governors at the White House, President Trump called for strengthening school defenses and improving the "early warning" system in response to this month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"Our nation is heartbroken," Trump said. "We'll turn our grief into action."

Washington House Votes To Pass Bump Stock Ban

Feb 26, 2018

Lawmakers in Washington state on Friday passed a ban on bump stocks. That’s a gun modification that allows certain weapons to fire more rapidly. They debated the ban under the shadow of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is reiterating his call for state lawmakers to pass a series of what he calls “common sense” gun control measures. The Democrat made his comments Wednesday in response to the Florida school shooting.

The Washington state Senate has passed a ban on trigger modification devices known as bump stocks that allow semi-automatic firearms to operate more like automatic weapons.

The vote Thursday evening came in response to last October’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and left hundreds more injured.

A ban on bump stocks has passed out of a Washington state Senate committee. But it faces an uncertain future.

Victims Of Las Vegas Shooting Testify On Gun Legislation In Olympia

Jan 16, 2018

Hundreds of people crowded hearing rooms in the Washington state Capitol Monday to testify on proposed gun control legislation. Among other things, lawmakers are looking to ban so-called bump stocks which allow firearms to fire faster.

Gun rights activists from across Washington state rallied in Olympia Friday. They came to protest proposed gun control legislation that supporters say will reduce mass gun violence.

The Washington Legislature is set to open it's 2018 session on Monday. The 50 State Project from CQ Roll Call asked Austin Jenkins to come up with the top five issues facing Washington lawmakers this session.

Here's his list:

This story has been updated

All firearms will be banned from the Washington state Senate public viewing galleries when the 2018 legislative session begins on January 8.

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat who serves as the president of the Senate, issued that order Monday, extending a previous order banning openly-carried guns in the Senate galleries.

In 2014, Washington voters approved Initiative 594 to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales. But the law has only resulted in two prosecutions.

Guns and domestic violence are a deadly combination. Now domestic violence survivors in Washington can find out if their abusers illegally attempt to buy a gun through a licensed dealer.

That’s because of a first-in-the-nation law that took effect this summer.

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

Mass shootings in Orlando, Fla., Alexandria, Va., and San Francisco during the first two weeks of June — two of them on the same day — have once again put America's complicate

Another gun control debate is brewing in the Oregon Legislature.This year's high-profile gun legislation would attempt to close what supporters of the measure call two loopholes.

Gun control has been a minor theme of this year's presidential election, as Hillary Clinton promises to close "loopholes" in the background checks for gun purchasers, and Donald Trump pledges "unwavering support" for the Second Amendment.

The real battle over guns, though, has been waged at the state level this year — with a new emphasis on ballot initiatives.

Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

Keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others is the goal of Washington Initiative 1491 on the ballot this election. But opponents worry it will further stigmatize mental illness.

Updated at 1:15 p.m.

House Democrats have ended their almost 26-hour-long sit-in to push for gun control legislation, pledging on Thursday afternoon to continue their fight once Congress returns from the July Fourth recess.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., ended the daylong protest surrounded by his Democratic colleagues. The civil rights leader proclaimed that this "is a struggle, but we're going to win this struggle."

“Do you believe guns in the home make you less safe?”

“Who do you believe should legally be allowed to carry a concealed pistol on college campuses?”

Those are the kinds of questions political candidates are getting this year from gun control and gun rights groups.

After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Congress stalled on passing gun control laws. Any efforts to curb ownership of assault-type rifles, like the AR-15 used in Newtown or the SIG Sauer MCX reportedly used last weekend in Orlando, also failed.

But that didn't prevent some states from taking action.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Following on the heels of President Obama’s gun initiative, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced his own executive action to curb firearm violence. Calling his executive order a “measured, modest approach” to preventing gun deaths,  Governor Inslee is directing state and local health care and law enforcement agencies to do a better job of both collecting and sharing data.

About two dozen gun retailers are located in Seattle. Opponents of the proposed tax on sales of firearms and ammunition say it would cause buyers and ultimately shops to go outside the city.
Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle’s City Council will take aim at gun violence Monday with a vote on a pair of gun safety measures. One would tax sales of firearms and ammunition. The other would require owners to report lost or stolen guns.

City Council President Tim Burgess proposed the measures. The former Seattle police detective says firearms put an undue burden on communities.

“Gun violence begets gun violence,” Burgess said, “which is a huge problem in our city and frankly in our entire state. And we’re trying to take common sense, reasonable steps to address that.”   

He argues getting sellers to chip in to break the cycle of violence is one such step.

The revenue from the tax would be dedicated to prevention programs and research, such as was carried out in 2013 by doctors at Seattle’s Harborview Medical center, where last year alone, the city says the cost for treating victims of shootings totaled $17 million.

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