Washington lieutenant governor skips speech over gun fears

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state’s lieutenant governor says he won’t preside at Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State speech because he’s concerned people might bring concealed weapons into the joint session of the Legislature.

The Daily Herald newspaper of Everett reported that Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib said no threats had been made, but he’s concerned because the state House of Representatives, where the speech will take place, does not have a policy banning concealed weapons.

The House and Senate ban openly carried weapons in their galleries, and the Senate bans concealed guns as well.

Habib, who is blind, said he is concerned the House policy leaves elected officials vulnerable.

Democratic Rep. John Lovick, of Mill Creek, the speaker pro tem in the House, was to preside in Habib’s absence.