gun rights

Lawmakers hold ‘Legislative Shootout’ to demystify guns

by Andrew Garber, Seattle Times  |  published on April 7, 2013

Republican state Sen. Steve Litzow pointed out his bright orange fleece jacket to other lawmakers Thursday as they approached tables with target pistols laid out, bullets at the ready.

“With only 25 votes, every vote counts,” he joked, reminding them that the GOP-led Senate controlled the chamber by only one vote.

Litzow, of Mercer Island, was one of more than a dozen Republican and Democratic lawmakers who had showed up by late afternoon for a target and trap shooting competition organized for them and their staff. More than 60 legislators had indicated they would attend the event, which ran into the evening.

During a legislative session, like many around the nation, where emotions run high over gun restrictions, this event was an attempt to have fun, show the sportsman side of guns and demystify them for the uninitiated.

The idea is “to show shooting sports as being very family oriented and something passed down generationally,” said Republican state Sen. Pam Roach of Auburn, the event’s main organizer. “We’re going to go out and have a good time and do some target shooting, which is something that is a pastime for millions of Americans.”

Such shooting competitions for state lawmakers used to be regular events from the late 1980s to 2000, Roach said, but then died out. She’s trying to bring them back.

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