OLYMPIA, Wash. — It’s two years to the day since the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school. Seventeen people were killed.
In Olympia, members of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility marked the day by visiting the Capitol to speak with lawmakers about gun legislation that’s still alive this year.
“I’m just asking for common-sense gun legislation to end the slaughter of innocent people in this country,” said David O’Connor, His nephew was killed in an armed robbery four years ago. He’s been fighting for tighter gun laws ever since.
“You don't know how frustrating it is,” he said, getting emotional. “Waiting for months to click off, years. I do not want another person to go through what I'm going through.”
One bill would ban the high-capacity magazines used in some mass shootings. It would limit the number of bullets they can contain to 10, forcing the shooter to reload.
“That gives valuable seconds to victims to either escape or to put up a defense, maybe subdue the shooter,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Democratic Senator Patty Kuderer of Bellevue.
Opponents say higher capacity magazines are crucial to self-defense.
“It’s firearms with these standard-capacity magazines that are commonly owned by law-abiding Washingtonians and are the firearms commonly relied upon for personal protection,” said NRA state director Keely Hopkins during a hearing on the legislation.
The high-capacity magazine legislation is ready to go to the Senate floor, but Kuderer is still fighting to get it there.
“This is a bill that is going to require the public to voice their support for it, as a lot of bills that we pass need,” Kuderer said.
Eleanor Van Noppen lost a 21-year-old relative in a gun accident.
“It is frustrating but we keep at it, we have to,” she said.
In Washington, the people are the ultimate lawmakers. So if gun safety legislation fails at the Capitol, it will likely be on the November ballot.
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