OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Three children shot in three weeks in March. That was enough to get the attention of lawmakers in Olympia.
Nine-year-old Amina Bowman survived being shot at school in Bremerton, but three-year-old Julio Segura Mc-Intosh and Jenna Carlile died after they were left in cars with loaded weapons.
Mc-Intosh shot himself; Carlile’s brother shot her with their father’s gun. Their father, Derek Carlile, a Marysville police officer, was put on trial, but a jury could not reach a verdict on the manslaughter charge.
The owners of the guns used in the other two shootings are awaiting trial.
Following the shootings, gun control advocates called for stricter gun laws.
Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, called for a work session at the Capitol Friday to discuss children’s access to firearms.
Pedersen said he does not know if laws need to be changed or created to better protect children.
He knows gun control is an issue people are passionate about and he got a refresher course in that Friday morning.
Some have suggested gun owners in the state be required to use gun-locks or safes when children are present.
“We need laws to enforce consequences,” said Beth Flynn, Executive Director for Washington CeaseFire.
Flynn called for lawmakers to require trigger locks on weapons.
“Why are we talking about guns,” testified Brian Judy, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.
Judy said gun owners should not be singled out.
If new laws are created regarding safety measures that must be taken in people’s homes, Judy said gun owners should not be singled out.
He told lawmakers they would also need to require steps be taken to protect children from choking hazards and poisons, which cause many more deaths than guns.
Pedersen said it is not clear if gun control will come up for debate in the next legislative session, which begins in January.
He said at the very least, the issue should be discussed following what happened in March.