Debate over gun control will likely continue in Olympia

The debate over gun control in Washington state is not over.

This week, voter-approved Initiative 594, which expands background checks on online and personal gun sales, went into effect.

Fresh off their victory, advocates for stricter gun laws announced they will also push for tighter regulations in Olympia this legislative session.

The Center for Gun Responsibility and Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility outlined a series of goals;

* Make an adult criminally liable if a child uses his or her gun to hurt others

*Notify family members or survivors when a firearm is returned to a person after it had been removed

*Boost mental health funding

*Add to the list of convictions for crimes that would would make it illegal for a person to buy or possess guns

There will undoubtedly be a lot of push back. Democrats control the House, but the upper chamber has a Republican majority.

Alan Gottlieb, who fought against I-594, told The Seattle Times that he was worried gun-control supporters were overreaching.

And the debate over I-594 likely isn’t over yet, either. Lawmakers can’t alter I-594 without a two-thirds vote for two years. After that, it would only take a simple majority to change the initiative.

Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, wrote in her recent newsletter she has concerns about the law.

“This measure passed statewide with just over 59 percent of the vote, so it is the will of the people,” Pike said. “That said, I do believe there are troubling provisions within it that need to be addressed, while upholding the intent of the law, which is to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands.”

Pike said during the session she will “meet with interested parties to see how we can work to improve this new law, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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