A law signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee extends to childcare facilities the same prohibitions on deadly weapons that apply to K-12 schools.

“Our younger children deserve the same degree of safety as our school-age youths,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor. “Whether it’s school or childcare, when parents see their kids off in the morning, they expect them to be safe and sound and come back home that way.”

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

The law prohibits the possession of firearms on the premises of any licensed childcare center, childcare center-provided transportation, or other childcare center facility. It exempts law enforcement officers and holders of concealed pistol licenses.

“The last thing a parent wants to hear is that shots have been fired at a school or other public facility attended by their children,” Wilson said. “This should give parents reassurance that their children are secure and safe in the institutions they trust with their care.”