2017 looks as if it’s going to be a tough year for Washingtonian gun owners.
The State’s Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson (who has held the office since 2013) has introduced measure to ban “assault weapons,” that mirrors similar laws in California. Ferguson has argued the definition of “assault weapon,” as defined by his proposed legislation is similar to legislation in New York and Connecticut that has so far withstood the scrutiny of legal challenges.
Among the proposed ban include guns that:
- Have a detachable magazine
- Have a pistol grip
- Any magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition
Lucky for us, we don’t have to look far to find the effectiveness of gun bans. The Clinton gun bans of the 1990s proved that outright bans are, at best, “mixed” with competing claims on their effectiveness.
The ban would only apply new firearms, grandfathering in old ones that fit the definition, but requires them to be safely locked away in homes.
Violating these laws could mean a Class C Felony conviction, with a $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison.
The Attorney General also proposed a second bill as a failsafe that would not completely ban assault weapons, but require new buyers to obtain a license and be subject to a 10 – day waiting period.
It is unclear what will happen to the proposed legislation, as the Washington Legislature is almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans currently hold a majority in the Senate, and are generally against anti-gun legislation.
While Ferguson may believe that Washingtonians need further restrictions in order to buy firearms, the effectiveness past legislation has indicated his proposed legislation will do little more than make legal gun ownership harder for law abiding citizens.
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