EDITORIAL: This gun law is used rarely in Pierce County, despite huge voter support. More awareness could help

Gun Rights

Dec. 24–Second Amendment defenders often turn to a familiar refrain when faced with the prospect of new firearms regulations: "Let’s enforce the laws we already have." The mantra can come off as a knee-jerk response, particularly when gun-rights groups use it to try to stave off sensible reforms. That includes Initiative 1639, a package of stronger background checks, storage precautions and assault-weapon age limits that Washington voters overwhelmingly approved in November. But gun-rights activists aren’t wrong when they trot out that truism. Not only must public safety authorities enforce the laws on the books, but the general public needs to be aware of them and take advantage of their protections. New Jeep Grand Cherokee Causes of Psoriasis One example of a tool that’s gathering dust in Pierce County is the extreme-risk protection order. It allows family members, law-enforcement officers and others to petition a judge to remove firearms from the possession of someone deemed a threat to himself or others. In the two years this tool has been available in Washington, Pierce County Superior Court has received only 15 requests for protection orders, court administrator Chris Gaddis told us last week. A judge granted them in every case. That’s barely more than one-and-a-half requests per month in a county of more than 876,000 residents — a county that exceeds the state average in its rates of suicide, violent crime, domestic violence and untreated mental illness. We believe a public-education campaign is warranted. Extreme-risk protection orders fall under the heading […]

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