Council Votes in Favor of Gun Violence Prevention

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 9:53 a.m.

During Monday’s Legislative Session, Spokane City Council voted 5-2 on Ordinance C36534 on Gun Violence Prevention for a Safer Spokane. While state law largely limits the ability of cities to enact local ordinances on firearms, it allows cities some flexibility to regulate where firearms can be discharged, what buildings armed individuals can enter, and how seized firearms are disposed of.  This ordinance supplements existing state laws, enhances safety locally and ensures fewer gun-related incidents in areas likely to be exposed to gun violence by establishing a new chapter to the SMC (Spokane Municipal Code). 

The newly enacted chapter includes the following sections:

  1. Scope and Purpose
  2. Discharge of Firearms Prohibited
  3. Possession of Firearms
  4. Disposition of Firearms
  5. Exemptions to Prohibitions on Discharge

“Gun violence is a national public health and public safety crisis,” said Council Member Paul Dillon.  “It has been confirmed that someone is killed by a gun every 10 hours in Washington State, and gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens. We also know gun violence is preventable, and stronger gun laws have been proven to reduce deaths, which is why we are bringing it forward. We have seen the impact of shootings in Spokane, so this is a critical step to address this concern. This issue is personal, and I am proud of the Council's action tonight.” 

“It's concerning that our youth now must participate in active-shooter drills at school, “Council Member Kitty Klitzke added. “I'm passionate about this ordinance because safety should be our top priority. We should be able to attend public events without the fear of armed individuals causing intimidation. Our aim is not to take away the right to bear arms but to prevent public intimidation and potential active shooting incidents. If firearms were not involved, we could all feel much safer.  Only Federal, state, or local law enforcement officers or personnel, or members of the United States armed forces or the state of Washington, should be the exception to carrying a firearm or other weapon by their occupation.”