Shawn Vestal: Gun Rights Advocates Take Risk by Objecting to Bill

The Spokesman-Review’s Shawn Vestal dove deep into how the gun lobby blocked Extreme Risk Protection Orders:

“The gun lobby has again helped undermine a piece of common-sense public safety legislation. The proposal, Washington House Bill 1857, would have allowed judges to issue temporary “extreme risk” protective orders against people deemed dangerous to themselves and others, including requiring them to temporarily surrender their guns.

The legislation was an attempt to put a tool in place for families and police when someone is exhibiting a variety of warning signs: worsening mental health, a pattern of threats of violence or suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, a domestic violence conviction and other factors. In case after case of high-profile shooters, there is a preceding pattern of problems known to family, friends and law enforcement – but short of a criminal conviction or an involuntary mental health commitment, their gun access is protected.

Did the gun lobby respond with specific ways to address their criticisms?

‘No,’ Jinkins said. ‘This was very hard because I met with the NRA and with the gun lobby a couple of times, telling them I wanted to work with them … but what became clear was that the gun lobby had decided they wanted to kill the bill.’

‘I just couldn’t win,’ she said. ‘I kept trying to address any concern they raised.’

This is SOP for the gun lobby.”

Check out the full column here.

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