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Washington: "Sensitive Places" Expansion Passes Out of Committee

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Washington: "Sensitive Places" Expansion Passes Out of Committee

On Thursday, January 18th, the Senate Law and Justice Committee passed an amended version of Senate Bill 5444, a "sensitive places" expansion bill, out of committee. 

SB 5444 increases “gun-free zones” where law-abiding citizens are left defenseless in publicly accessible areas, including:

  • Public parks
  • Public transit
  • State and local government buildings
  • Public libraries, and
  • Zoos and aquariums

Nothing in the bill requires these “sensitive places” have any measures to protect citizens and prevent armed criminals from ignoring this arbitrary boundary and entering. 94% of mass shootings occur in these gun free zones, signage is not enough to stop criminals.

During the public hearing on Monday in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, the NRA testified in opposition and challenged the committee’s interpretation that this bill did not apply to the concealed carry of firearms. The NRA’s challenge prevailed, and the committee confirmed that SB 5444 would prohibit concealed carry in the so called "sensitive places" the bill proposes.

Thanks to pressure from the NRA and pro-Second Amendment Senators, during today’s executive session, the committee voted to amend the bill. Concealed Pistol License holders would not be prohibited from carrying concealed in the expanded "sensitive places". This is a big win for law abiding gun owners. However, our work and opposition is not done. The otherwise lawful carry of firearms remains prohibited criminal conduct and must be defeated. The NRA will continue to strongly oppose SB 5444.

The bill has now been referred to the Ways and Means Committee. Please contact your Senator now and ask them to OPPOSE SB 5444 by clicking the TAKE ACTION button below.

Please sign-up for NRA-ILA alerts to receive updates on this bill for future opportunities to testify and oppose SB 5444.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.