guns

The Washington House has joined the state Senate in banning openly carried guns in the public viewing galleries.

Umbrellas, strollers and backpacks were already banned from the public viewing galleries in the Washington House and Senate.

Guns are allowed in the Washington state Capitol, but state law makes it illegal to carry a firearm in a manner designed to intimidate.

Jessica Cote picks up her daughter, Anna Cote, at the Spartan Recreation Center in Shoreline after students were moved to that location for reunification Wednesday morning, Jan.7.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Updated at 4:11 p.m., 1/7/2015:

Reports of an armed male on school grounds sent Shoreline schools into lockdown on Wednesday morning, said Sergeant DB Gates of the King County Sheriff's Office.

Lockdown was lifted at 10:15 a.m., and students were sent home. Police stayed at schools until all students were safely released.

An armed male was reportedly seen at Meridian Park Elementary at Meridian Avenue North and North 175th. Police released a limited description of the man on Twitter: "Only suspect is a male, camo pants, dark hoodie. Unknown race, unknown age. Had a firearm."

A food service employee spotted the man; staff at the elementary school called 911 at 7:50 a.m. Children had been at the school as early as 6:30 a.m. for child care.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Ross Reynolds talks to Andrea Seabrook, founder of DecodeDC, about how local initiatives create laws in spite of the stalemate in Congress.

File photo of a hand gun.
Flickr Photo/Zorin Denu (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Opponents of the new measure that expands gun background checks in Washington have filed suit against it.

They're asking a federal judge to block parts of Initiative 594 that involve transfers of guns. That initiative was approved by voters in November.

Washington State Legislature in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with KUOW's Olympia corespondent, Austin Jenkins, about a few of the biggest stories of the year from the Washington State Legislature

Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

Several hundred gun rights activists rallied at Washington’s capitol Saturday to protest the new voter-approved law that requires background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers. Most participants in the "I Will Not Comply" rally were openly carrying handguns or rifles or both.

The state of Washington is preparing for as many as 6,000 gun-rights advocates to attend a rally at the Capitol on Saturday.

For the first time in at least 20 years, significantly more Americans say it's more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership, according to the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) sided with gun rights compared with the 46 percent who favored gun control.

The findings represent the continuation of a shift that was only briefly interrupted by the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in 2012.

Amy Radil

Initiative 594 took effect Thursday, and Washington joined six other states with the broadest background checks for gun sales. Cheryl Stumbo and other members of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility marked the date with a press conference at Plymouth Church in downtown Seattle.

“Initiative 594 is in effect, and today Washington has closed the background check loophole,” Stumbo said as members applauded.

File photo.
Flickr Photo/Wendy (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Ivan Moreno, reporter for the Associated Press in Colorado, about the how their universal background check law went into effect last year. Washington state's passed a similar law in November.

Washington’s new background check law for person-to-person gun sales and transfers takes effect Thursday.

Beloved sandwhich shop Paseo closed suddenly this week, leading to a lot of foodie grief in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Rocky Yeh (CC-BY-NC-ND

A beloved Cuban sandwich shop falls apart. A gun-rights rally is coming to Olympia. Should police bother to find who broke into your car? Is our lieutenant governor a slacker? And what would you put into a Washington state time capsule?

Bill Radke is with Crosscut’s Knute Berger, Northwest News Network’s Phyllis Fletcher and LiveWire’s Luke Burbank to answer these questions.

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