Here's How Washington's King County Is Responding to the Sutherland Springs Shooting

In light of the Texas church shooting – where a man with a history of domestic violence was able to massacre 26 innocent people because of a government oversight – states are taking a more proactive approach to ensure guns stay out of the hands of domestic abusers.

Currently, federal law prohibits someone with a domestic abuse conviction to obtain a firearm. And, those who purchased their firearm before they were accused are required to surrender their firearms to police after the fact.

However, as the Texas gunman proved, things often fall through the cracks.

So, the day after the massacre, King County Council members in Washington state decided to start filling some of those cracks by unanimously approving a measure that will allocate more than $600,000 to targeting convicted domestic abusers who have refused to turn over their guns.

“Too many times weapons aren’t being surrendered,” King County Council Chair Joe McDermott said according to King 5 News. “The perpetrator is denying that they even exist and we know that’s not true in many cases.”

In fact, King 5 News reports in more than a whopping 47% of domestic abuse cases in Washington State county, the convicted ignore the judge’s order demanding they surrender their firearms to police.

King County isn’t the first in the state to issue such an effort after the Texas church shooting. The Seattle City Council also approved $300,000 to form a “Regional Domestic Violence and Firearms Enforcement Unit.”

Hopefully, we see more counties, cities, and states taking this approach. We must start enforcing our existing laws before legislating new ones.

Oct 18, 2021 4:30 PM ET