Washington State Planning Major New Gun Control Laws

The State of Washington is planning to move forward with broad new gun control measures. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and Attorney General Bob Ferguson said during a Monday press conference that they intend to present three new pieces of legislation in the upcoming state assembly session.

The Democrats said the new bills would ban “assault-style” firearms, hold gun makers and sellers legally responsible for firearm sales and create a new permit requirement for all gun buyers in the state.

Inslee said the legislation is being presented because of increased gun violence. He claimed that the new rules would function with mental healthcare assistance to reduce the violence plaguing Washington.

Inslee said, “Washingtonians demand assertive, effective and protective gun safety laws,” adding that he believes his new laws will “protect them and their children against this epidemic of gun violence.”

Regarding the plan requiring residents to obtain a state permit to purchase a firearm, he said: “You need to get a license to drive a car in the state of Washington. You need to get a license to go fishing. It’s time you get a license to ensure you have safety training to purchase a gun in the state of Washington, and it’s high time that we pass a bill to make sure you get a permit before you get a firearm.”

The governor said more than 800 state residents died from gun violence last year. As the state’s largest city, Seattle reported 53 homicides in 2020, 42 in 2021 and 27 so far this year.

The ban on so-called “assault weapons” will stop all future sales, manufacture or import of those types of firearms in the state. The ban would “grandfather” in weapons already owned by Washington residents and will not affect law enforcement officers or military personnel.

In typical Democratic fashion, Inslee offered no information about what the term “assault weapons” will mean under his proposed law. He only said that with regard to “weapons of war,” there are “no legitimate reasons for them in our society.”

The new liability rule will permit litigation against gun makers and sellers, allowing them to be found liable in court if they “fail to responsibly control the manufacture, sale, distribution and marketing of firearms.” Victims of crimes involving firearms will be allowed to directly sue manufacturers and retailers if they “fail to keep firearms away from dangerous individuals.”

State Rep. Jim Walsh (R) issued a press release criticizing the draconian legislative proposals. He described the plan as “a waste of taxpayers’ time and money,” adding that the “U.S. Supreme Court, in its recent Bruen decision, has clearly ruled that state gun-control schemes like these are unconstitutional — and unlawful.”


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