State launches new Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention

By Washington State Department of Commerce

Shalisa Hayes is a mother with a mission.

In August 2011, she experienced the deepest pain a mother could feel — the loss of her young son who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Billy Ray Shirley III was 17 years old. He was shot and killed leaving a party in Tacoma.

For Hayes, this wasn’t her first brush with gun violence. She had lost her father to homicide when she was a young girl. The grief from such loss can be paralyzing, but Hayes has spent the last decade in motion. Hayes led the charge for a

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