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Deputy prosecutor fights for enhanced background checks on weapon purchases

Longtime deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell testified in Olympia for enhanced background checks.

Another bill calls for enhanced background checks when purchasing assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Supporters want to raise the purchase age to 21 years old, require safety training and an annual background check renewal.

One of those supporters is the Snohomish County deputy prosecutor who handled the 2016 Mukilteo shooting. He is a seasoned prosecutor but Adam Cornell says that day was different, “I've had a lot of bad days with victims and families but the worst day of my career was the day I was called out to the Mukilteo shooting.”

Cornell says that case had a deep impact “I saw with my own eyes the human carnage of a jealous 19-year-old with access to an assault weapon,” he told the Senate Law and Justice Committee. It's the reason he's now pushing for an enhanced background check for anyone trying to buy a semi-automatic weapon.

A bundle of gun safety laws is being considered during this session and several Second Amendment advocates spoke out in support.

Keely Hopkins, an NRA representative shared several statistics, adding, “semi-automatic firearms are only used in a small percent of violent crime."

Organizers with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility say it will be a fight, but they believe there is special symbolism that the first hearing landed on Martin Luther King Junior Day.

“I think this movement is keeping with his efforts to reduce violence in our society,” Renee Hopkins explained.