On March 4, 2022, Senate Bill 5078 passed through the Washington State House of Representatives and is now on the way to the Governor’s desk to be written into law. The bill was created by Wash. State Senator Marko Liias to prohibit the sale of large magazines. The term large is defined by the bill as, “a device that may accept more than 10 rounds.”
One of the reasons the bill was drafted is due to the prevalence of large capacity magazines in recent gun violence across the state. As stated in the bill, “Large capacity magazines have been used in all 10 of the deadliest mass shootings since 2009, and mass shooting events from 2009 to 2018 where the use of large capacity magazines caused twice as many deaths and 14 times as many injuries.” Large capacity magazines’ ability to continue to allow a dangerous shooter to continue their attack without pause for longer durations of time makes them particularly concerning in regards to the issue of gun safety. Washington state legislators hope to prevent mass-casualty events with this new law.
Gun violence is tragically connected to our schools. Anthony Manahan is the Assistant Public Safety Director at Bellevue College, and while he said that this new law doesn’t really impact the current BC Gun Safety Policy, it is a great time to remind our students on what policies Bellevue College has implemented.
Manahan stated that “Having a policy in place is key because it enables us to take any needed disciplinary and/or legal action if someone violates it. We also have a number of procedures up on our website that outline how the college plans to respond to different scenarios. And internally we run tabletop exercises with employees to practice those plans in the event of a major incident.” If you see or hear something, say something.
As Manahan advised, “We recommend that folks dial 9-1-1 immediately if they’re in immediate danger or witnessing an emergency. Students can sign up for BC Alerts which will send a text message about any campus emergency on their cell phone, and I’d also recommend creating a contact with the Public Safety phone numbers (24/7 at 425-466-9365, and 425-564-2400 during normal office hours).”
The college’s public safety department also has exemplary services to any students who are feeling worried or might need help. “Public Safety also offers other services such as safety escorts, any time of the day or night, and assistance if you’re locked out of your car or need a jump start.”
All in all, this new law should help significantly in limiting the lethality of shootings in the state. Manahan reminds students, “Everyone has a role in creating a safe campus community, and we are always appreciative when folks reach out. We want to make sure people’s concerns are addressed early and everyone gets the help they need.” If you ever have questions or concerns about campus safety, don’t hesitate to reach out.