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Picture of a sculpture at the United Nations headquarters in New York City taken in 2010.
Flickr Photo/Sari Dennise (CC-BY-NC-ND)

In Washington state people convicted of crimes are required to surrender their firearms to law enforcement officials.  But people with restraining orders against them – even in cases where there are serious threats of domestic violence – almost never have to give up their guns.  Ross Reynolds talks with Kirkland Democrat Roger Goodman about his proposal to change that.

Switzerland has an entrenched gun culture that is embraced by most of its 8 million citizens, some of them as young as 10 years old.

Every Swiss community has a shooting range, and depending on who is counting, the alpine country ranks third or fourth in the number of guns per capita.

Your Take On The News

Mar 15, 2013

It's Friday — time to review the week's top news stories with Knute Berger, Eli Sanders and C.R. Douglas. A federal judge approved a first-year plan to reform the Seattle Police Department. Meanwhile, the plan was challenged in court by the Seattle Police Officer's Guild and the Seattle Police Management Association, over concerns about collective bargaining rights.

Also, a bill that would expand background checks for gun owners died in the state House. And the state's budget shortfall grew by $300 million. What stories were you following this week? Call us at 800.289.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org.

Rev. Sandy Brown
Amy Radil

Gun control advocates are regrouping this week. They’re looking at their options, now that a bill to broaden background checks for gun sales failed in the Washington Legislature. They want to seize a moment when they believe public sentiment is on their side.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A controversial proposal to require criminal background checks for most gun purchases appears to have died in the Washington House. That announcement came Tuesday night after two days of efforts to wrangle enough votes to pass the measure.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Efforts to muster the 50 votes needed to pass a universal background check measure for gun sales were falling short Monday afternoon in the Washington House of Representatives. A planned vote after 3:00 pm was delayed while backers of the measure continued to work behind the scenes to secure the necessary support. Meanwhile majority Democrats moved on from the topic of reducing gun violence to consider non-related health care measures.

Picture of a sculpture at the United Nations headquarters in New York City taken in 2010.
Flickr Photo/Sari Dennise (CC-BY-NC-ND)

States with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, according to a study published this week in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers found that states with the most laws have a mortality rate 42 percent lower than those states with the fewest. So how does Washington state compare? Ross Reynolds talks with the lead researcher from Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Eric Fleegler.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Efforts to get gun rights leaders in Washington to support -- or at least not oppose -- universal background checks appear to have hit a stumbling block. At issue is a state database that tracks pistol sales. Second Amendment advocates want it shut down, but the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs say it’s a vital law enforcement tool.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is opposed to a proposed state law (House Bill 1588) that would require universal background checks for gun purchases in Washington state.

Supporters aim to prevent more convicted felons from getting their hands on guns that can currently be purchased without a background check though private sales. The NRA says felons would still get guns though black-market sales and other avenues.

How Much Of Gun Violence Is Suicide?

Feb 15, 2013

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he called on Congress to pass new gun control legislation. He declared that “in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun."

According to the most recent report on gun deaths by the Center for Disease control, two-thirds of all US gun deaths in 2010 were suicides. 

Despite recent disagreements over gun control proposals in the state legislature, a few Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support one bill that would require background checks for all firearms transactions in Washington.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The idea of requiring background checks for all gun sales in Washington appears to be gaining traction. Nearly half of the Washington state Senate Monday signed onto a universal background check proposal.

Co-signers to the legislation include Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, a Democrat. Just last month he seemed cool to a similar universal background check proposal from the Washington House.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Democratic lawmakers in both Washington and Oregon are working on measures to require background checks for all gun sales. A universal check proposal was introduced Wednesday in the Washington House. A similar bill is expected in the Oregon Senate soon.

Seattle's Gift Cards-For-Guns Event Sells Out

Jan 28, 2013
Allie Ferguson

Hundreds of people came out on a chilly Saturday morning to exchange their guns for $100 and $200 Amazon.com gift cards in the first guy buyback event held in Seattle in 20 years. People stood in line holding rifles in camouflage cases and shot guns wrapped in blankets among other things. Traffic clogged up city streets near the parking lot where the event took place.

Your Take On The News

Jan 18, 2013
Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin



It’s Friday — time to talk over the news with Knute Berger, Joni Balter and Eli Sanders. A new AP-GfK poll finds support for tighter gun laws as President Obama announces his plan for action and the NRA digs in for a fight. Lawmakers in Olympia get down to business and Governor Jay Inslee takes office in the first full week of the state legislative session. Plus, Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell joins the race for mayor. What stories caught your attention this week? Write to us at weekday@kuow.org.

Ask King County Executive Dow Constantine

Jan 17, 2013
Dow Constantine in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

The debate over guns moved ahead in Washington, D.C., this week as President Obama called on Congress to strengthen America’s gun laws. In Seattle, officials are aiming to get illegal guns off the street by holding a buyback. Do buybacks work? We talk with King County Executive Dow Constantine about the push to reduce gun violence. Plus, the saga of the Sacramento Kings basketball team continues. Will they or won’t they come to Seattle? King County’s Executive Dow Constantine joins us. Have a question? Email us at weekday@kuow.org.

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

President Obama asked congress to pass new gun control legislation earlier today calling for tougher penalties for anyone who buys guns intending to sell them to criminals, universal background checks for firearms purchases, and a 10-round limit for gun magazines and a ban on military style assault weapons.

How will Washington state Republicans react to the president's call? Ross Reynolds talks with public affairs consultant and former chair of the state Republican Party, Chris Vance.

    

Just over one month after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama and Vice President Biden are set to announce their plan for action on reducing gun violence. We'll carry the President's remarks live from the White House and hear what Beth Flynn of Washington Ceasefire and Phil Watson of the Second Amendment Foundation have to say about his proposals.

Can We Bring Back The Oceans Of The Past?

Jan 15, 2013
Diving
Flickr photo/Malcolm Browne

Think you’ve seen a healthy ocean in your lifetime? You probably haven’t. National Geographic's explorer-in-residence Dr. Enric Sala studies marine ecosystems to understand the past and present ocean, and to plan for the future. He also works to protect pristine seas that still exist. How are the world's oceans doing? And what can be done to reverse the damage? We’ll find out what’s missing from the ocean landscape.

Former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former Astronaut Mark Kelly, are launching a new gun control group.  Their specific proposals to combat gun violence include comprehensive background checks for private sales and stricter controls on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. 

What do you think? Is gun control the answer?  Ross Reynolds talks with UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, Second Amendment Foundation spokesman Dave Workman, and Washington Cease Fire executive director Beth Flynn about the latest push for further gun control.

Ann Dornfeld

Seattle and King County officials today announced the city’s first gun buyback program in 20 years. The goal is to reduce gun violence, both intentional and accidental.

NAC Architecture

Designing safer schools doesn't mean turning them into military bunkers. That might have been an easy remodel back when schools were built like jails, filled with "cells" and controlled by bells. Today's schools are open, flexible spaces that allow students to combine and recombine into groups that learn from each other as much as they learn from the teacher.

Tripat Singh
KUOW photo/Derek Wang

A group of religious leaders from numerous different faiths called on Washington state lawmakers Thursday to change the state’s gun laws. The new group spans several different religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. It represents a new voice joining the chorus that’s calling for more gun restrictions following the Connecticut school shootings.  

Mental illness
Flickr Photo/Majicdolphin

Officials have not yet released any information on the mental state of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter, but anecdotal reports about his behavior and character have led people to diagnose him with a myriad of mental illnesses. At what point does conjecture lead to stigmatization of people with mental illness? Is it fair to connect violence with mental illness? We talk about it with Dr. Jennifer Stuber of the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

Highlights from Dr. Struber's interview available here.
 

Newtown shooting memorial
AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell says he wants to explore the idea of a ballot initiative to let cities pass their own gun laws. Cities are not currently allowed to regulate guns beyond existing state law. We'll talk with Harrell about what changes he'd propose for Seattle, and hear reaction from Joe Waldron of the Gun Owners Action League of Washington.

Jason DeCrow / AP Photo

Most of us spent the weekend following the coverage of Friday's tragic mass killing in Newtown, Conn. Have you changed your mind on gun control? Were you pro-gun rights until last Friday? Ross Reynolds takes your calls.

Keeping Violence Out Of Schools

Dec 17, 2012

Following one of the worst school shootings in the country's history, what's already being done and what can be done to keep guns and violence out of classrooms? We talk with Mike Donlin of Washington state's School Safety Center. Then, we hear from former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski about how Washington state could lead on gun control at the ballot box.

SALEM, Ore. – An Oregon lawmaker wants to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines in the wake of Tuesday's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center.

Police say Jacob Tyler Roberts opened fire at the crowded shopping mall, killing two people and seriously wounding another. Then he turned the gun on himself. Investigators say he was using a stolen AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick says she's circulating a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would ban the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds in Oregon.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg is pushing for tougher penalties for kids that commit crimes with guns in Washington state.  Under current rules a judge can call for detention for up to 30 days for the first gun offense.  Under the proposed change, juvenile offenders would get a mandatory 10 days in detention after the first offense.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A rash of accidental shootings involving kids and unsecured guns has some Washington lawmakers considering a change in the law. A legislative panel will meet Friday to discuss ways to prevent children from getting their hands on firearms.

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