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Washington State Issues Immediate Ban On ‘Assault Weapon’ Sales

Olympia, WA – Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed off on a bill Tuesday immediately outlawing the purchase, importation, or manufacture of “assault weapons” within the state.

“No one needs an AR-15 to protect your family,” Inslee declared during the signing ceremony, according to FOX News. “You only need it to kill other families.”

The new ban targets more than 50 gun models, including AK-47s, AR-15s, and guns that are similar in appearance, The Oregonian reported.

The measure allows for some exception for sales to military and law enforcement agencies.

It also allows gun manufacturers to sell the inventory they already had in stock prior to Jan. 1 of this year for the next 90 days, but only if the weapons are sold to people out-of-state, according to KING.

It also does not prohibit citizens who already have such weapons from continuing to possess them, The Oregonian reported.

Inslee signed off on two other gun control bills on Tuesday, one of which involved the implementation of a 10-day “waiting period and training requirement for all gun purchases,” according to CNN.

Those requirements go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, FOX News reported.

The third measure provides citizens “with the ability to sue firearm manufacturers or retailers for irresponsible conduct,” Inslee’s office said, according to CNN.

The governor praised himself and the state legislature for passing the new gun control laws.

“We lead the country in so many ways, and we are leading on this,” Inslee said, according to FOX News. “I’m not sure any state has ever taken three steps on one day.”

He added that the rest of the nation needs to follow suit.

“We know we need to continue this effort on a national basis,” the governor said.

Nine other states currently have similar bans, KING reported.

The weapons ban bill passed the state Senate in a vote of 28 to 21, with the state House following suit last week in a vote of 56 to 42, CNN reported.

Both votes fell largely along party lines.

“The legislature finds and declares that gun violence is a threat to the public health and safety of Washingtonians,” the bill reads. “Assault weapons are civilian versions of weapons created for the military and are designed to kill humans quickly and efficiently.”

The Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit over the ban nearly immediately after Inslee signed the bills into law on Tuesday.

In addition to challenging the prohibition, the foundation has asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions, KING reported.

“The state has enacted a flat prohibition on the manufacture, sale, import and distribution of many types of firearms, inaccurately labeled as ‘assault weapons,’ which are owned by millions of ordinary citizens across the country,” founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation Alan Gottlieb said in a statement.

“In the process, the state has criminalized a common and important means of self-defense, the modern semiautomatic rifle,” Gottlieb continued. “The state has put politics ahead of constitutional rights, and is penalizing law-abiding citizens while this legislation does nothing to arrest and prosecute criminals who misuse firearms in defiance of all existing gun control laws. It is absurd.”

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he isn’t concerned about the lawsuit in the slightest and that he is “confident” the weapons ban will withstand legal challenges, KING reported.

“We haven’t lost a case yet against the NRA or the Second Amendment Foundation when they’ve challenged common sense gun reform,” Ferguson boasted. “My legal team is better than their legal team. I’m confident we’ll win again.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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