WA Gun Control FAIL: Murder Up 46.6%, Says Report from LEO Group

WA Appeals Court Unanimously Upholds Preemption in SAF Lawsuit, iStock-884168778
Gun control has been a dismal failure in Washington State, and data from a new report from a state law enforcement group underscores the problem. iStock-884168778

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Nothing defines dismal failure so much as the billionaire-bankrolled gun control crusade that has been unfolding in Washington State since 2014, when the first of two restrictive anti-gun-rights citizen initiatives was put on the ballot with promises of reduced gun-related crime and tighter control over who has access to firearms.

That much is made abundantly clear in this year’s report on crime in Washington, released a few days ago by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC). The report for 2020 relied on data from 233 state, county, municipal, and tribal law enforcement agencies statewide.

The most alarming revelation is that murders spiked from 2019 to 2020, with 302 homicides reported last year. It’s a jump of almost 100 murders over the 206 killings that occurred in 2019.

The WASPC report highlighted a significant piece of data: Between 2016 and 2020, the Evergreen State saw an overall homicide increase of 66.9 percent.

This includes a murder that occurred days ago in the upscale City of Bellevue, formerly a suburb of Seattle but now a thriving city in its own right, and where homicide is a rare occurrence. But this case is important for several reasons because the details amount to a refutation of the gun control extremism put forth in recent years by the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the organization backed by contributions from Michael Bloomberg and former Microsoft billionaires including Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Ballmer and the late Paul Allen.

In 2014, the Alliance spent more than $10 million to push through Initiative 594 against relative token resistance from gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association and a coalition of state-based organizations, plus all but one of the state’s major law enforcement organizations. They were simply out-spent, and many contend media bias played a role.

It is no wonder why a group called WaGuns.org created a T-shirt a few years ago bearing the message “Gun Control is Not Gun Safety”

I-594 is the so-called “universal background check” measure that requires background checks on every firearm transfer, including private sales and even loans of guns, with a few exceptions for family members. It passed with just under 60 percent of the vote and was supported by anti-gun state officials and many Democrat lawmakers.

Four years later, in 2018, the Alliance put its deep pockets to work again with Initiative 1639, which invented a definition for a “semiautomatic assault weapon” and prohibited anyone under age 21 from purchasing such a firearm, even if it is a .22-caliber rimfire. There is also a safe storage requirement, which brings the focus back on the Bellevue murder. In this case, which appears to be a domestic violence incident, the suspect broke into his brother’s gun safe and stole the handgun used in the slaying. The suspect, in this case, could not legally possess a firearm due to past criminal history, which clearly illustrates the argument from I-1639 opponents that the measure would not keep guns out of the wrong hands.

The Bellevue killing, combined with data published in the 583-page WASPC report confirms these gun control measures have not lived up to their sales pitches.

As noted above, data from the 2016-2020 period is significant because it begins two years after passage of I-594 and begins with the first full year of a special “gun violence tax” adopted by the Seattle City Council in mid-2015. That tax was supposed to raise money specifically to be spent on “gun violence reduction programs” in the city, but instead of homicides going down, they have crept upwards, from 19 killings in 2016 to 52 last year, according to Seattle Police Department data.

In 2016 there were two high-profile shootings that resulted in eight fatalities. One of those cases involving a 19-year-old who legally purchased a Ruger semi-auto sporting rifle to kill three people was used to justify the I-1639 campaign in 2018. The other shooting involved another young adult who stole a semi-auto rimfire rifle from his stepfather’s house to murder five people in a shopping mall only a few months after the triple slaying.

Statewide, according to data from the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report, the entire state hasn’t benefited from the restrictive gun control measures at all.

In 2016, there were 195 murders including 127 involving firearms. In 2017, Washington logged 228 slayings, including 134 involving guns. In 2018, the FBI reported 232 homicides statewide, including 138 committed with firearms, and in 2019—the most recent year for which data is available—there were 194 murders including 135 involving guns.

It is interesting to note that the WASPC report lists 206 murders in 2019. AmmoLand News reached out to WASPC for an explanation about the discrepancy, but the organization did not immediately respond.

Adding to the problem, the WASPC report shows a decline in the number of commissioned law enforcement officers per 1,000 population in the state. Seattle has lost more than 250 police officers since last year’s riots and demands for defunding police departments became stylish among the Jet City’s far-left city council members and the protesters with whom they clearly sympathized.

Washington’s population, according to the WASPC report, is 7,656,066. A lot of those people have been buying guns and applying for concealed pistol licenses. Over the past two months, more than 7,000 new CPLS have been issued, and the trend is heading toward the all-time high of more than 650,000 back on April 1, 2020 when law enforcement agencies suspended taking new applications because they require fingerprinting. This was done despite there being no provision in the state statute that allowed it.

As noted by Alan Gottlieb at the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, “As municipal police agencies see their budgets cut, their morale sinking and their officers leaving, private citizens will increasingly be taking care of themselves and others.”

Predictably, Washington newspapers and broadcast news agencies are giving token coverage to the report and ignoring altogether the failure of gun control initiatives to fulfill their expectations.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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Violent criminals should be concerned that there are less enforcers to protect them from people who are not violent criminals.


“Just a few bad apples” Where were all the good apples? I have no doubt you are right about the enforcers you personally know with respect to thier views on the 2nd Amendment. However, there are many people in WY who are absolutely convinced the sheriff in their county is “pro 2nd amendment.” All the sheriffs had their chance to do something other than talk and they all failed and did the opposite. We have people who post on this board who consider themselves to be “pro 2nd Amendment” activists who make excuses for thugs, indicating non-government employees shouldn’t criticize… Read more »


I bet the Freemasons can spell ‘grief’ correctly…


Bet they can spell snippy anklebiting bitch correctly too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Do you know Superman’s profession prior to retirement?


Spelling Bee hall monitor?




So, spelling bee hall monitor with a license to kill.


Just thank him for his service and pick up that can, citizen.


LOL, thanks for the laugh. Hope you are having a good day, Sounds like you are right on top of things and in good spirits.


I would enjoy hearing the rest of the story to that one. I’m waiting for the story that goes something like this: “Officer JBT began beating citizen Joe and indicated he was going to steal citizen Joe’s property. Officers Friendly and Goodfellow immediately drew their firearms and placed Officer JBT under arrest, handcuffed him, roughly stuffed him in the back of their squad car, and hauled him off to jail. Prior to leaving the scene, they apologized profusely to citizen Joe on behalf of all good LEOs.” I have yet to read a story resembling that fact pattern. The good… Read more »


Might as well laugh about it.

The politicians are going to pass more laws – there is only so much you can do about that.

However, without a lot of enforcers willing to obey almost any order, the politicians’ laws would just be bad ideas.


Let’s add the people that don’t comply to that too. My concern is that the law will be there and it will only be enforced against people they don’t like. Republicans come to mind. Saw the same thing happen in DMV Kommiefornia and when you call them on it they always say, “but that’s different” no the only thing different is that you don’t like the person you are persecuting and you like the one I am proving that you are not equal and predujuce in your justice. The one feeling the wrath was a pretty white female, The one… Read more »


Lots of laws enforced against your enemies and not enforced against your friends is the name of the game with totalitarians.

They go to great lengths to promote class warfare, demonize people with wealth, and argue for higher tax rates, and then pardon one of the biggest tax evaders in American history:



Ain’t that the truth. Blue abuse got the riots going in the 1st place, then they switched to being JFOs (Just F’ng Observers) who sat & watched dreams & lives looted, burned, destroyed; kneeled & bobbed on BLM/AntiFa. Sick of being told to Back The Blue whatever they do or don’t do. Defund the Police & arm civilians instead, works for me. Only reason there was justice for Floyd was his skin color. Cops can murder “white” conservatives with impunity. Ask dead Malibu rancher Donald Scott & 1000s of others.


That’s harsh. They couldn’t arrest the mostly violent rioters who were murdering, assaulting, intimidating, burning, looting, and vandalizing. They were too busy arresting people singing in church parking lots, paddle boarding in the ocean, playing catch with their daughter in a vacant park, etc.

When there are only 700,000 to 1,000,000 of you, you have to show discipline in your priorities.


like the liberals they use new math. it is not reality based


And, of course, the mall where that .22 rimfire was used has a prominent ‘No Guns Allowed’ rule listed in the posters at all the entrances…

Last edited 1 year ago by Straight-Shootr

This is yet one more example where the people we have been waiting for have brought us the ‘progress’ we have been waiting for. Cede Washington State to North Korea.


Here in OreGONE we have the same thing happening. They have closed door meetings regarding gun control measures and they use covid as an excuse not to let the people in to vote or speak on our own behalf. That is why one republican legislator Mike Newman in protest opened the door for the people outside to come in so they could speak against a new law that was passed having more 2nd amendment rights taken away including making possession of a fire arm in a GUN FREE ZONE a felony instead of a misdemeanor while increasing the ability for… Read more »


That is most likely correct. I wonder if it isn’t a plan to say that violence has escalated since there are more druggies in OreGONEIA and since it is obvious we cant control the drugs we need to do more to control the guns because the gun is actually what causes the violence instead of the truth which you and I know is the shooter. More propaganda. Oregone lost to the druggies because all of them around the USA are moving here because they can take what ever drug they want and it is legal, no worry about getting busted… Read more »


No stems, no seeds that you don’t neeed……
Acapulco Gold® is bad as* weeeed.


I still do not see a collective of outrage and citizens banding together to yank ALL of these deadbeat legislators fron city, county and state out of office for Willful Neglect of their Statutory Duty(ies)?


Mr. Workman, I always appreciate your articles: precise and relevant. Especially the ones relying on hard facts from reliable sources. However, I find it frustrating when an intelligent author uses the terms “Murder, Homicide and Killings” interchangeably without explaining the difference between them: The most alarming revelation is that murders spiked from 2019 to 2020, with 302 homicides reported last year. It’s a jump of almost 100 murders over the 206 killings that occurred in 2019.”
Not all “homicides” are “murders” and “killings” could be either.


You slay me, Schart.