The mass shootings in Boulder and Atlanta are igniting new calls for gun control and a heated debate all over the country.
Here in Washington state, one high profile bill is still alive in the state legislature after previous gun control measures have failed.
Eight lives were lost in Atlanta and 10 were lives lost in Boulder during back-to-back mass shootings.
Lawmakers said the killings are a wake-up call.
“It’s long overdue, quite frankly, we’re long past sending thoughts and prayers,” said Democratic Senator Patty Kuderer. “My heart aches for those families and those communities. Their loved ones are coming home ever again.”
Kuderer is sponsoring a bill in Washington state to ban open-carry firearms during protests and the Capitol campus—which is heading to the house floor for a vote.
She introduced it a month before the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection.
“You don’t need a weapon to exercise your First Amendment right," Kuderer said. "You just need your voice."
Previous proposals to ban assault weapons and limit high capacity magazines have failed in Washington State.
“Way too large of the American public has forgotten we’re not talking about a regulated privilege," said Dave Workman, Senior Editor of the Second Amendment Foundation. "We’re talking about a constitutionally protected right."
Workman said more laws would punish responsible gun owners.
“No sane person wants to see this type of tragedy unfold, but at the same time they are tired of being blamed and penalized for something they didn’t do,” Workman said.
Republican leader John Braun said Tuesday our country still needs to address underlying mental health issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“It is unacceptable what is happening," Braun said. "I think everybody can agree with that but the answer is not as simple as make one more law.”
If the gun proposal in Washington state becomes law, a violation would be a gross misdemeanor.