Before they were pulled, the proposed state legislation House Bill 1588 and Senate Bill 5625 would have required universal background checks for firearms. Regardless of what leaders in Olympia decided, Kennewick's City Council decided to make a statement by unanimously voting in opposition to the proposals.

The council members feared that such legislation would infringe on citizens’ rights and waste resources that were better spent elsewhere. During the meeting it was suggested that the problem of gun violence would best be solved by addressing mental health issues.

Mayor Steve Young wrote a letter opposing the bills to the National League of Cities, an American advocacy organization. Kennewick is a member of the league.