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Washington Attorney General Proposes Strict Bans On All “Assault Weapons”

January 11, 2017

Washington State’s attorney general is trying to ban the sale of so-called “assault weapons.” Attorney General Bob Ferguson is proposing two bills that, if passed, could have a devastating effect on gun rights.

One of the bills would specifically prohibit the sale of both the weapons and the high-capacity magazines. A grandfather clause would be added for Washington State residents that already own such weapons.

The second bill would increase background checks for so-called “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines. Residents would need a license, which would have to renewed annually, to buy these types of weapons and those looking to purchase must be 21 or older. There would also be a 10-day waiting period.

Ferguson said, “I am working hard to advance my proposal to ban assault weapons in the legislature, and that effort will continue. In the meantime, I hope we can pass enhanced background checks in this legislative session with strong bipartisan support.”

A 2012 Johns Hopkins study projected that some 100 homicides and 500 shooting injuries could be prevented if there was a national ban on high-capacity magazines and this is the basis of Ferguson’s argument to pass such a bill.

Rep. Strom Peterson, who sponsors Ferguson’s bill, says, “This past year, we all watched in horror as the mass shootings in Orlando and Dallas took place. And then it happened here, in Mukilteo. It’s past the time we stand up for our communities and keep these assault weapons from destroying more families.”

Joe Waldron, Chairman of the Gun Owners Action League of Washington said, “I don’t expect either (bill) to pass, barring some convenient incident that draws attention to the issue. These bills have nothing to do with crime control or public safety. They’re all just part of an incremental program to eventually ban the private possession of ALL firearms.”

California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, as well as the District of Columbia already have “assault weapons” bans.