BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation is applauding the Washington State Legislature for passing the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Education for Safer Homes Act, an issue championed by SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb and supported by local and national gun rights groups.
The House passed the bill initially 93-4 last month, and on March 1, the Senate passed a slightly amended version 47-0. The House concurred on a 94-2 vote, and now the bill heads to Gov. Jay Inslee.
“I am personally gratified by the Legislature’s action,” Gottlieb said. “This is the culmination of a year’s worth of quiet meetings and truly heartfelt conversations that involved suicide prevention experts and the Second Amendment community.
“I am particularly proud of the fact that working on this project introduced me to Dr. Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor at the University Of Washington School Of Social Work,” he continued. “Her devotion to suicide prevention stands second to none, and working with her on this effort has been a great experience.
“Suicide prevention is not, and should never be, about gun control, but about saving lives and preventing tragedies,” Gottlieb observed. “Working with State Rep. Tina Orwall and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with Brian Judy at the National Rifle Association demonstrates that people with diverse interests can come together and produce something that I think will be good for the citizens of Washington State.”
In Olympia, Gottlieb and Judy both testified in support of the bill during the hearing process. The bill was also supported by Ray Carter for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Phil Shave, executive director at the Washington Arms Collectors.
“We’re going to have the involvement of firearms retailers and genuine gun safety experts,” he concluded, “and mental health professionals. People working together have a far greater chance of accomplishing something than working against one another.”