The Washington chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after Washington House lawmakers passed HB 1630, legislation that would prohibit firearms at public meetings, including those run by a school board, as well as at voting centers and other offices related to the electoral process. The legislature’s action on this critical issue, which follows grassroots advocacy from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, will help provide local governments with the tools to prohibit firearms in sensitive places like voting centers — a critical step to keeping the threat of armed intimidation out of Washington’s democratic process.
“There is no place for guns in our democracy,” said Sue Shutz, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Local leaders should be able to meet and legislate without the fear of armed intimidation. We’re grateful to the legislature for understanding the importance of this legislation.”
Over the past few months, the country has seen armed extremists, such as the Proud Boys, show up to local school board meetings and intimidate local community members. In 2021, Everytown Support Fund, in partnership with the Armed Conflict and Event Data Project (ACLED), released a report showing that between January 2020 and November 2021, armed demonstrations are more than six times as likely to turn violent or destructive compared to unarmed demonstrations. In that time period, there were at least 610 armed demonstrations across 44 states, with nearly 97% of all armed demonstrations taking place in public spaces, and over 100 armed demonstrations reported at capitol buildings and vote counting facilities.
Statistics about gun violence in Washington are available here, and Everytown’s interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — is available here. If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Washington Moms Demand Action please don’t hesitate to reach out.