Moses Lake shooting victim’s sister testifies for gun safety bill

Moses Lake shooting victim’s sister testifies for gun safety bill

A somber anniversary Thursday of the Moses Lake school shooting brought on an urgent call for gun safety.

Hearings were held in Olympia on bills that would require the locking up weapons, and enhance background checks for assault weapon sales.

It was, in part, access to family weapons that made it possible for 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis to open fire in Frontier Junior High School 21 years ago. Loukaitis had come to school armed with a rifle and two pistols he brought from home.

Today, he’s in prison, responsible for the deaths of two classmates and a teacher. One of those students was 14-year-old Arnold Fritz.

His sister Nyla Fritz testified in favor of making it a felony to not safely secure a gun.

As someone who has felt the impact of gun violence, and now as the principal of a middle school herself…
she said gun safety is critical.

“In a matter of minutes my sweet Arnie, a classmate and their teacher were all gone,” she said.

One man who testified against the measure said it would leave him vulnerable- to lock up guns would render them useless in a self-defense situation.

The other bill addressed Thursday concerns background checks for those purchasing assault weapons. This is the first hearing of many for these measures, on what will likely be a highly-contested road to the ballot