A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo

Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

By Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

OLYMPIA — A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants to complete a safety course.

Senate Bill 6294 would require conceal-carry permit holders to complete eight hours of training that would include safe handling and storage of firearms, state laws regarding the use of deadly force, conflict resolution, suicide prevention and live-fire shooting exercises.

Presently, conceal-carry permits are valid for five years, require only a criminal background check by local law enforcement, and require the applicant to be over age 21.

Under the proposed law, conceal-carry applicants would have to show proof of completed training within five years of their application, and the training course would need to be sponsored by law enforcement, a college or university, or a certified firearm training school. Law enforcement professionals and people who have already received the training and are seeking renewal would be exempt.

Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, said he believes that forcing this kind of training on conceal-carry permit holders could be unconstitutional. He proposed incentives to similar training instead. Conceal-carry permit holders across the U.S. “are among the most responsible and law-abiding citizens that you can find,” Wagoner said.

On Jan. 20, stakeholders and concerned residents like Lauren Owen of Moms Demand Action testified before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Owen urged committee members to support the legislation, claiming that Washington is one of the few states that does not require training for concealed carriers.

“Research has shown that gun users with less training are more likely to unintentionally shoot innocent bystanders,” Owen said.

Sharyn Hinchcliffe, a representative of Pink Pistols, a LGBTQ gun rights advocacy group, urged the senators to reject the bill on the basis that it would impede individuals’ rights to self-defense.

“It would place undue burdens, financial and time, on individuals who do not possess the funds available to go search out training,” Hinchcliffe said.

She said parts of the state do not have adequate resources and programs available to fulfill the training requirements. Hinchcliffe said there are no firearm training schools within 25 miles of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Screenshot from fredhutch.org
Fred Hutch seeks volunteers of color for COVID-19 study

Research company recently released a Spanish-language version of the website for accessibility, inclusivity.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

File photo
Man shot in chest found in Federal Way parking lot

Police are investigating the shooting which occurred near the Redondo Heights Park and Ride around 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 20

A view of the Palmer Fire, located seven miles southwest of Oroville in north central Washington. Source: InciWeb
Antifa isn’t starting Washington wildfires

Online conspiracy theories are spreading as the West Coast burns.

A plane drops fire retardant on the Palmer Mountain Fire last week. The fire is listed as 84 percent contained, and fully lined. Laura Knowlton/Sound Publishing staff photo
Threat multiplier: How climate change, coronavirus and weather are scorching WA

Dry summer conspired with the pandemic and a wind storm.

Seven decades later, the search for two missing Navy pilots continues

The pilots are thought to have disappeared near Black Lake, northeast of North Bend.

The truck of the Renton family as it was found Tuesday. While fleeing the Cold Springs Fire two adults were severely burned and one toddler died. Courtesy photo/Okanogan Sheriff’s Office
Toddler killed as Renton family flees Cold Springs Fire

The parents were severely burned and are being treated at Harborview Medical Center

Screenshot from the state Employment Security Department’s website at esd.wa.gov.
Workers may qualify for an extra $1,500 in unemployment back pay

A federal program will give some of the state’s unemployed a $300 weekly bump for the past five weeks.

King County moves to Stage 2 burn ban

Outdoor fires, even barbecues or in fire pits, are now prohibited.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.