House passes Wilson bill to make childcare facilities gun-free zones

Childcare facilities would carry the same prohibitions on deadly weapons as K-12 schools under legislation passed Tuesday by the House.

“This will give our younger children similar protections to school-age youths,” said Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Auburn, the bill’s sponsor. “No parent wants to be notified that guns have been fired on grounds where their child is being cared for.”

Wilson, the vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, said Senate Bill 5434 would help keep younger children safe from the deadly shootings that are spilling into public venues with increasing frequency.

Wilson’s bill prohibits the possession of firearms on the premises of any licensed childcare center, childcare center provided-transportation, or other childcare center facility. The bill was amended by the House to exempt law enforcement officers and holders of concealed pistol licenses.

Having been amended by the House, the bill must now come back to the Senate to reconcile differences between the two versions before it can be sent to the governor to be signed into law.