As Accidental Shootings Reach a 17-Year High, Lawmakers Refuse to Pass New Restrictions

In 2012, the state of Washington saw more accidental shootings than any year since 1995. There were 122 hospital admissions because of accidental gunshot wounds; seven people died. The victims that are just treated and released in the E.R. are not counted nor is any information gathered about the shooting.

During the mid-90s, the federal government issued a grant to Washington law enforcement for the purpose of enabling them to gather detailed information about every shooting. The grant money was used to collect information about every shooting; in 1998 the grant money stopped and so stopped the information.

The purpose of the grant was to help law enforcement know details of the incidents and find ways to prevent them in the future. Now they have no way of knowing why people keep falling victim to such a senseless accident.
Some of the perpetrators were children and trigger-locks would have prevented the shooting, but most were not.

A bill in 2013 would have required that all gun purchasers be offered a trigger-lock with purchase. The bill was rejected; gun dealers are not even required to offer trigger-locks! Under this bill, adults could be charged with a crime for leaving children unsupervised with access to a firearm. The opposition argued that more children die from child abuse than shootings and that trigger-locks are impractical when you have to defend yourself.

This is just the latest chapter in Washington’s book of resisting any new gun control or safety laws. In 1997, voters very clearly rejected a proposed safety bill and lawmakers have avoided the issue ever since. Even one of the accidental shooting victims, an ex-marine that is now paralyzed from the waist down is still vehemently opposed to any gun control laws in Washington.