SPOKANE, Wash. — Ami Strahan, whose son Sam died in the Freeman High School shooting in 2017, met Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday as the public testified on gun-related bills on Olympia.
Testimony on Monday focused on bills that would increase the punishment for gun theft or illegal firearm use, as well as those placing further restrictions on firearms.
The subject matter of a bill that would ban high-capacity magazines has gained national attention. High-capacity magazines are capable of holding more than the standard number of rounds. The bill would make it illegal to manufacture or possess magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
Ami Strahan also spoke with lawmakers last year about a Senate Bill banning high-capacity magazines.
“Had [the shooter’s] high-capacity magazine rifle not jammed, just imagine the carnage that would have happened at the school that day,” Strahan said in January 2019.
Inslee posted on Facebook about meeting Ami Strahan in Olympia on Monday.
"Ami's son, Sam, confronted a classmate with a gun who shot and killed Sam in 2017. Sam's act of courage may have saved others from the same fate. Now, Ami is summoning that courage to do the same," Inslee wrote.
"There are common-sense steps we can take - this legislative session - to do that. And I think we owe it to Sam and to Ami to make that happen," he added.
Much like the setting on the national stage, groups in Olympia were divided on the issue.
One of the most prominent voices against passing these types of laws was Washington Representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley).
"We should never back down. We should never quit. We should never give in to those that want to destroy our Constitution,” Shea said.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson previously noted that such bills would "combat mass shootings in Washington state. High-capacity magazines were used in two mass shootings in Washington in the last few years in Mukilteo and Burlington, he said.
“If we do not take action, additional mass shootings will occur here, that is inevitable,” Ferguson previously said.
Democrats are leading the charge for what they call “common sense” gun laws. Those Democrats have the majority in Olympia, but the question remains as to whether they will get the votes.
On Tuesday, the high capacity magazine and assault weapon ban was heard in the House's Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. It's possible that at least one of the bills could be voted on in Committee as early as this week.
KING 5'S Kierra Elfalan and Sebastian Robertson contributed to this report.