Legislature weighs change on chamber open carry rule

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State officials are weighing whether they should change the interpretation of Senate and House chamber rules in order to prohibit the open carrying of firearms in the public viewing areas of both the Senate and House chambers.

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who serves as president of the Senate, and House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, a Democrat from Covington, both said Friday that they believe that the rule that currently bans props, signs or other forms of demonstration would also prohibit openly carrying weapons in the gallery.

Sullivan notes there are differing interpretations of that rule which is why no decision has yet been made.

Following a gun-rights rally on the Capitol steps Thursday, about a dozen protesters went to the House gallery with their weapons.

The House floor was mostly empty because no bills or resolutions were scheduled for debate.