After 2009 ended in a hail of high-profile gun violence, Washington state’s gun-control advocates are frustrated by an apparent lack of political support for an assault weapons ban, warning that the state will likely face more deadly shootings without it. The bill comes just weeks after a spate of deadly police shootings, and proponents of the ban say those killings should force politicians to confront gun violence.

 

“There’s more guns, a repressed economy and a lot of angry people,” said Ralph Fascitelli, board chairman for state gun control group Washington Ceasefire. “You can’t sweep this problem under a rug. Apparently the shooting of eight police isn’t enough to confront gun violence in the state.”

After 2009 ended in a hail of high-profile gun violence, Washington state’s gun-control advocates are frustrated by an apparent lack of political support for an assault weapons ban, warning that the state will likely face more deadly shootings without it. The bill comes just weeks after a spate of deadly police shootings, and proponents of the ban say those killings should force politicians to confront gun violence.

 

“There’s more guns, a repressed economy and a lot of angry people,” said Ralph Fascitelli, board chairman for state gun control group Washington Ceasefire. “You can’t sweep this problem under a rug. Apparently the shooting of eight police isn’t enough to confront gun violence in the state.”

 

The bill was named in honor of 18-year-old Aaron Sullivan, who was shot and killed by a SKS 7.62-caliber rifle in Seattle in July. The legislation focuses on “military-style” assault weapons, which can fire rapidly and carry large magazines of ammunition.

 

Similar bans have not fared well in the state Legislature in the past, and in an election year, supporters face a battle to even get the bill out of committee.

 

“I will do everything I can to pass this bill this year,”said Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, the sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, said she is mobilizing with other lawmakers against the bill. Since it was announced, her office has received more than 1,000 e-mails asking the Senate to defeat it, Roach said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure (Kline) doesn’t diminish the Second Amendment right,” she said.

 

The National Rifle Association and the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are also lobbying against it.

 

Alan Gottlieb, the director of the Citizen’s Committee and the Second Amendment Foundation, said he is confident the bill will fail. Not many Democrats, especially those in more conservative districts, want to come out against gun rights in an election year, he said.

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