State House bans openly carried guns in chambers, concealed carry still allowed

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Leadership in the state House has decided to join the Senate in not allowing people to openly carry firearms in the public viewing area located over the floor where lawmakers sit.

The decision was made Monday morning after a meeting between leaders from both sides of the aisle.

On Friday, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat who serves as president of the Senate, announced that he considered openly carried guns the same as any prop used for a demonstration, which is not allowed under each chamber's rules.

Owen's decision came a day after a dozen protesters went to the House gallery with their weapons after a gun-rights rally on the Capitol steps protesting a new voter-approved gun background check law.

People can still bring their concealed guns into the gallery, as long as they have a concealed pistol license.