Representative Amy Walen, who studied and practiced law in Australia before returning to Kirkland, WA, released the following statement in response to the attack in New Zealand:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the brutal attacks on the mosques in New Zealand and stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and our Kiwi friends in this time of mourning. We are working with CAIR Washington and local elected officials and police to ensure that everyone is safe during Jummah (Friday prayer) today. Violence and the hate that motivates it is unacceptable in any country and people worldwide have a responsibility to stand up and say no. People of all faiths are free to worship and no one should fear for their safety when attending religious services or activities. I believe that elected officials have the opportunity and the platform to bring people together and affirm our human solidarity.
“I am proud that the Washing State Legislature is taking steps to support immigrant communities and to stop people who are determined to kill. This year the House has passed a ban on untraceable and undetectable “ghost guns” by passing HB 1739. We have also passed HB 1465 to close an emerging background check loophole in gun purchases by requiring concealed pistol license (CPL) holders to wait for a local law enforcement background check before a dealer can transfer a pistol. This is in response to the FBI discontinuing courtesy National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks for CPL holders in Washington. There is no other real-time database that allows a dealer to determine the validity of a CPL, which can be easily duplicated or forged. I also look forward to taking up consideration of SB 5165, passed by the Senate, to expand the Washington Law Against Discrimination to include a prohibition on discrimination based on immigration or citizenship status.”