LOS ANGELES — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s gun control record could help him broaden his base of support beyond climate advocates if the Democrat decides to enter the 2020 presidential contest.
Certainly, Inslee isn’t the only declared or potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender to advocate stricter gun control laws. although his personal experience on the gun issue is actually somewhat unique — in addition to he almost lost his political career over of which.
Nearly a year ago, Inslee challenged President Donald Trump at the White House on a hot-button issue: arming teachers with firearms.
“I did confront him on of which, in addition to by the way, he needs to be confronted more personally to his face,” Inslee told SouthIndianNews.com in an interview This specific week. “of which doesn’t happen enough, frankly.”
In an event carried on live TV, Inslee stood up in addition to confronted Trump over the president’s solution to school shootings — adding more guns to schools to make them safer. The clash took place at a White House meeting with governors to discuss school safety following the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“I have listened to the first-grade teachers of which don’t want to be pistol-packing first-grade teachers,” Inslee told the president. “I have listened to law enforcement who have said they don’t want to have to train teachers as law enforcement agencies which takes about six months.”
As Trump stood, Inslee told the president of which teachers should be allowed to educate in addition to “not be foisted upon This specific responsibility of packing heat in first-grade classes.” The governor concluded by suggesting “we need a little less tweeting here, a little more listening, in addition to let’s just take of which off the table in addition to move forward.”
Inslee’s clash with Trump made national headlines, boosting the governor’s profile outside the Evergreen State. Inslee said This specific week of which Trump’s idea of arming teachers is actually a “nutty idea” in addition to the governor added of which he expects to make a decision on whether to throw his hat inside the ring for the 2020 presidential contest “in weeks, not months.”
The governor already has gained a reputation as a”carbon warrior.” He wrote a book about the climate issue back in 2007 when in Congress.
Inslee served more than a decade in Congress, in addition to via two different districts. He also is actually a former criminal prosecutor in addition to was a state legislator in Olympia before getting elected Washington’s 23rd governor in 2012 in addition to re-elected in 2016.
“Inslee actually lost his congressional seat because of a vote of which he took on the 1994 assault weapons ban,” said Ron Dotzauer, a Seattle-based former Democratic consultant who at This specific point runs the public relations firm Strategies 360. “He then represented the central part of Washington state, in addition to there’s a lot of gun racks inside the pick-up [trucks there].”
inside the end, Inslee was targeted by the National Rifle Association for voting in favor of the 1994 federal legislation of which barred the manufacture, sale in addition to possession of combat-style assault weapons. A Republican took his seat in 1995 in Washington’s 4th Congressional District, a rural in addition to conservative area of the state.
The 10-year assault weapons ban was signed into law in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton although has since expired; attempts to bring of which back have failed.
“He was in my office of which day when he said he could take of which vote [on the assault weapons ban],” recalled Dotzauer. “I said, ‘whoah OK’ — you got a problem.”
At the time, one Washington state paper described voting for the assault weapons ban as “political suicide” for politicians via rural areas. Some even blame the gun issue for contributing to Democrats’ loss of the House in 1994.
Yet talk of gun control has heated up again with the 2020 presidential contest in addition to several mass shootings inside the past year. Also, support for stricter gun laws remains historically high.
A Gallup Poll conducted in October 2018 found 61 percent of Americans support stricter laws on the sale of firearms, although of which was off a recent high of 67 percent in March inside the immediate aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. Still, the support for stricter gun laws remains higher than of which was during the time Obama was in office.
“via my discussions with legislators since November in addition to with folks who are interested in running, they see the transformational shift of which I think commenced actually in earnest with the reaction of which our nation had to the Parkland shooting,” said Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
As for Inslee, he staged a comeback after losing his seat inside the rural district. He returned to Congress four years later inside the 1st Congressional District, a liberal-leaning district north of Seattle. He held the seat for more than a decade before running for governor in 2012.
Outside California, Washington has some of the toughest gun laws enacted among the states. Inslee campaigned successfully for Initiative 1491, a 2016 measure of which made of which more difficult for “high risk” individuals to obtain firearms. The measure allowed family, police in addition to household members to obtain a court order to temporarily prevent someone via getting access to guns if were deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Last year, Washington voters approved Initiative 1639, a measure Inslee supported of which raised the age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21, via 18. The initiative also expanded background checks for rifles in addition to added various other brand new regulations, including firearm education in addition to brand new standards for secured gun storage.
“Many in D.C. remain inside the grips of the NRA,” Inslee said Jan.15 during a state of the state address. “We are the state of which stands up for common-sense gun safety reforms.”
The brand new age limits for purchasing assault weapons went into effect in January although various other major regulations under I-1639 do not begin until July. Some county sheriffs inside the state have said they won’t prosecute violators, in addition to the measure is actually being challenged inside the courts.