4th District Representative Dan Newhouse voted against the package of gun safety measures that passed out of the House of Representatives Wednesday, known as the Protect Our Children Act.

Proponents of the legislation claim the package would take a number of steps to prevent gun violence, including:

  • Raising the purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 years old
  • Cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off the streets
  • Strengthening safe storage requirements to protect children from accidental shootings
  • Closing the bump stock loophole
  • Outlawing high-capacity magazines

Newhouse said none of the bills within the package would have prevented the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and taking away constitutional rights doesn't protect anyone or make our streets safer.

"We need to be looking for things that would actually help and not immediately go to the one solution that unfortunately seems to be the most prevalent; removing firearms from law-abiding citizens," Newhouse said.

He suggests that legislators instead focus on areas like mental health, improving school security and providing more resources to school resources officers.

Newhouse added that he's heard there have been some productive, bipartisan conversations in the Senate on the issue. One area that could see support from both sides of the aisle is strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

The Sunnyside Republican also voted against the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Act Thursday. The bill, which passed out of the House mainly along party lines, aims to allow family members and law enforcement officers the ability to temporarily remove an individual's access to firearms if they have been deemed a danger to themselves or others.