Washington State House Democrats


House passes Doglio’s firearms/vulnerable adult protection orders legislation

OLYMPIA—Today, the Washington House of Representatives passed HB 2305 by Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia) to extend protections for vulnerable adults against people deemed too dangerous to possess firearms.

Under current law, a judge can order firearms surrender for all protection orders except vulnerable adult protection orders.

“In Washington state, dangerous people who are subject to a protection order are required to surrender their firearms. I was shocked to discover that we don’t provide that same protection to vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation,” said Doglio.

She continued, “Closing this loophole and aligning protections for vulnerable adults with all our other protection orders just makes sense.”

Other types of protective orders include:

  • Domestic violence protection orders or no-contact orders
  • Sexual assault protection orders
  • Stalking protection orders and no-contact orders
  • Anti-harassment protection orders or no-contact orders
  • And restraining orders entered in family law or parentage proceedings

Vulnerable adults are people 60 years of age or older who cannot care for themselves, and persons who are legally incapacitated, have developmental disabilities, are admitted to facilities, or are receiving services from certain care agencies.

A vulnerable adult, or someone acting on their behalf, may petition the superior court for a protection order, which may be granted for up to one year. Under current law, a protection order may include any or all of the following:

  • Restraining the respondent from committing acts of abuse, abandonment, exploitation, or neglect
  • Prohibiting contact by the respondent
  • Prohibiting the respondent from coming within a certain distance of particular locations
  • Requiring the respondent to provide an accounting of the disposition of the vulnerable adult’s income or resources
  • And restraining the sale of property for a specified time period

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The 2020 legislative session ends on March 12.