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King County Prosecutor
Dan Satterberg


New Law Restricts Firearms Possession by Individuals with

Summary

Last Friday Gov. Inslee signed into law HB1840, which prevents those who have been served a domestic violence (DV) protection order from possessing or purchasing a firearm.

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New Law Restricts Firearms Possession by Individuals with
Domestic Violence Protection Orders

Last Friday Gov. Inslee signed into law HB1840, which prevents those who have been served a domestic violence (DV) protection order from possessing or purchasing a firearm.  It also creates criminal penalties, requires certification that firearms have been surrendered, and directs police to establish processes for receiving, storing, and returning firearms. 

scalesWashington domestic violence survivors and advocates led by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Legal Voice have worked for over a decade to build support for the bill as an important safety measure.  The King County Prosecutor’s Office (PAO) has long supported their efforts, and recognizes the critical importance of this bill.  The statistics are compelling:

 

  • Women are six times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by a stranger;
  • Two out of three domestic violence murders are committed with a firearm
  • Nearly 90% of murder-suicides are perpetrated by an abuser with a firearm.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said the new law will help keep domestic violence victims safe.

“We know too much to ignore the increased lethality factor that easy access to firearms presents in a domestic violence situation,” Satterberg said.  “They are by far the number one weapon in domestic violence homicides and in murder-suicides, and anything we can do to remove them from the equation during the heightened tension surrounding the issuance of a protection order will make everybody safer,” he added.

In a time of common political deadlocks in Olympia, it is important to note this bill passed the legislature unanimously.  
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