The Executive Action is the Latest Example of Washington Leading the Nation on Gun Violence Prevention
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown, today released the following statement after Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation on securing the systems in place for domestic violence protections and the state’s extreme risk law after Everytown and Moms Demand Action released recommendations to governors to reduce the risks of gun violence as Americans self-quarantine at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Gun violence has not stopped during the coronavirus,” said Lauren Owen, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action. “In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them — including domestic abusers and people who might be a harm to themselves or others. We applaud Governor Inslee’s continued commitment to gun violence prevention even amid the pandemic.”
The proclamation recognizes that domestic violence survivors rely on essential services provided by courts and law enforcement and will permit courts to schedule hearings by telephone in cases relating to domestic violence restraining orders or extreme risk protection orders. By enabling courts to conduct these hearings electronically, as recommended by the recommendations to governors, Gov. Inslee is ensuring that survivors of domestic violence need not risk infection to seek protection from the court system.
New data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) shows there were over 3.7 million background checks in March 2020, 41 percent higher than in March 2019. In Washington, over 75,000 background checks were completed this March, an over 20 percent increase from last March. With more firearms in homes, there are greater risks of gun suicide and deadly domestic violence. Governor Inslee’s executive action could help mitigate the risk of more gun violence during this already tumultuous time.