State House passes bill to expand court-ordered gun confiscation

Measure would apply to those subject to vulnerable adult protection orders

OLYMPIA — Courts could be one step closer to ordering people subject to vulnerable adult protection orders to surrender their firearms after the state House voted 55 to 42 in favor of a bill that expands that authority.

House Bill 2305, which passed last Friday, would allow courts issuing a vulnerable adult protection order to consider whether a person named as an abuser should surrender their firearms or concealed carry license.

“This bill gives judges the same tools they have for other protection orders to order the surrender of firearms if there is evidence that the subject of the order has used or threatened to use a firearm,” said the bill’s prime sponsor, Beth Doglio, D-Olympia.

Currently, the court can order the surrender of firearms by people subject to other kinds of protection and restraining orders, including domestic violence and stalking, but not for those issued to protect vulnerable adults.

In a House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee hearing for the bill, Rep. Morgan Irwin, R-Enumclaw, asked if the bill brought forth any pre-emptive protections that did not already exist. Irwin said that firearm-surrender orders require previous evidence of threat and that this policy change would not provide legal protections additional to the court protection orders that already exist.

Vulnerable adult protection orders are typically issued for individuals over 60 and who have been deemed by the court to be unfit to take care of themselves, legally incapacitated or have developmental disabilities.

A vulnerable adult who is suffering from abandonment, abuse, financial exploitation or neglect can petition a superior court for a protection order or an interested person acting on their behalf can seek one for them.

If the bill moves through the Senate and is signed into law, individuals possessing firearms in violation of such court orders could be subject to a second degree unlawful possession of a firearm charge.

Matthew Aimonetti, a representative of the Pink Pistols gun and LGBTQ rights advocacy group, testified to the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee in opposition to the bill. Aimonetti claimed the legislation lacked due process and had the potential to be used maliciously against people.

Aimonetti said the bill denies Second Amendment rights to individuals without criminal charges being filed or being convicted of a crime.

________

This story is part of a series of news reports from the Washington State Legislature provided through a reporting internship sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation.

More in Politics

Scores of people turned out Nov. 7 for a Port Townsend rally supporting President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. A celebration of the inauguration is planned for noon Wednesday the Pope Marine Plaza in downtown Port Townsend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Inauguration rally set Wednesday in Port Townsend

Noontime event scheduled downtown

A Clallam County Superior Court judge this week denied an injunction seeking to block the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic. (Graphic courtesy of City of Sequim)
Judge warns against using divisive language prior to MAT hearing

SOS leaders say online post taken out of context

Congressman Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.
Congressman Derek Kilmer reflects on historic impeachment

U.S. Representative says violence made Jan. 6 ‘awful and dark day’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday in Washington. (Gerald Herbert/The Associated Press)
President impeached in historic second charge

Trump calls for no violence, vandalism

Port Townsend police chief candidate D.F. Pace comes from the Philadelphia Police Department. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Townsend police chief candidates meet the public

Finalists talk drugs, race, empathy

Midway Metals, 258010 U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles, is the subject of a cease and desist order approved by Clallam County Commissioners for operating an illegal scrapyard. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Midway Metals to get cease and desist letter

Owner asked to fix Clallam County code violations

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege.
District 24 legislators relieved Monday remained calm

State legislative session now virtual

Clallam County eyes new district borders

Five-member commission to draw boundaries

Sequim City Council member Dennis Smith, seen in 2019 at a groundbreaking for the West Fir Street Rehabilitation Project, announced his resignation Friday due to personal reasons. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Former Sequim mayor resigns from city council

Dennis Smith cites personal, family reasons

Jefferson County moves toward Port Hadlock sewer

Commissioners call for bids on bio reactor

The Capitol in Olympia where members of the National Guard work with the Washington State Patrol to protect the Capitol campus ahead of the state Legislature opening its 2021 legislative session Monday, as several protests and rallies are expected. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)
Washington state Legislature convenes under tight security

Security fencing at the state Capitol was defended by National… Continue reading