Washington lawmakers proposing new legislation to reduce gun violence

Washington lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce a spike in gun violence-- a trend that many cities are now seeing

Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson said they will be announcing new legislation soon to help curb gun violence. 

One of the people speaking at next week's announcement will be Keanna Pickett, whose husband, D'Vonne Pickett Jr., was shot and killed earlier this year in Seattle's Central District.

She says gun violence has to be addressed.

"There's so many things that lead up to using a weapon-- some so much other violence that should be addressed beforehand. There's mental illness and domestic violence," Pickett said.

She lost her partner, best friend, her children's father, a pillar of the Central District, a son, brother and community man to gun violence mid-October.

Some of the key points in the bills proposed for the 2023 legislative session aimed at reducing gun violence are: 

  • Restricting access to semi-automatic assault weapons
  • Requiring a permit to purchase firearms
  • Restore local authority
  • Investing in community-based programs and public education
  • Address inequitable and biased policing

"Unfortunately, yeah, my husband was killed by a gun. It's not necessarily the guns that are in the bills," Pickett said. "How do these bills work for people who don't want to give up their guns? How do we educate on that? That's what I'm more interested in because D'Vonne didn't see it coming. It was literally behind him. It's literally those moments that no one's prepared for. We didn't say you can have a gun to do this thing and how do we prevent that from happening?"

Pickett firmly believes gun violence is something that can be addressed. Her husband believed in the right to bear arms. D'Vonne was carrying the night he was gunned down but didn't have the time to react.

She says his next step was safety and education about responsible gun ownership -- especially around children

Now, her hope is opening up the discussion to what impacts a person pulling the trigger, including mental health and domestic violence.

"It’s not a single issue. It has more to do with our domestics, our families, our communities. Why are we having these incidents that happen?" Pickett said.

A press conference outlining the proposed bills is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. FOX 13 will take the event live on air and online.