Mass shootings task force holds its first meeting Friday

The mass shootings task force, funded in the 2018 supplemental operating budget, held its first meeting Friday in Lacey. The task force, requested by Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, looks to develop strategies for identifying and intervening against potential perpetrators of mass shootings, educate the public about the availability of extreme risk protection orders, and report on recommendations to prevent these tragedies.

“I am very proud of the steps we are taking together to stop mass shootings and keep our schools safe,” O’Ban said. “The horrific Parkland, Florida, massacre is typical of many before it; students, school officials, family members, neighbors, social media users, law enforcement and even mental health professionals knew the perpetrator was mentally unstable, a high risk, and owned a firearm. We have gathered smart people in a room and I look forward to working with them to develop a plan to identify potential perpetrators, and prevent as many of these senseless killings as possible.”

Members of the task force include representatives from institutions of higher learning, prosecuting and criminal defense attorneys, the Attorney General’s Office, Washington Association of Counties, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Washington State Patrol, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and family members of victims of mass shootings.