Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign a massive ban on so-called “assault weapons” into law after lawmakers in the progressive state passed House Bill 1240.
The legislation, which prohibits residents from selling, manufacturing, and importing scary-looking guns — especially semi-automatic rifles — passed the state House by a vote of 56-42, Fox News Digital (FND) reports, and it will go into effect the moment Inslee scrawls his signature of approval.
With today’s historic final approval in the House, Washington will become the 10th state to ban the sale of assault weapons. Thanks to the tireless work of advocates, and the support of @GovInslee & sponsors @Strom_Peterson & @senpattykuderer #waleg
— Attorney General Bob Ferguson (@AGOWA) April 19, 2023
According to FND, the Constitutionally-questionable bill “bans more than 60 specific firearms, most of them semiautomatic long guns such as AR-15s and AK-47s.”
“Semiautomatic pistols and shotguns with certain features outlined in the bill may also be banned, but the specific guns are not listed,” the outlet adds.
“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.”
Firearms instructor Jane Milhans dismissed the notion that the banned weapons are combat-ready.
With a required trigger pull for every shot fired with a semiautomatic rifle, troops would be at a “severe disadvantage” if they were taken into battle, she told FND.
“People have the assumption that these rifles are military rifles and they just aren’t,” she said.
Naturally, law enforcement and the military will receive exemptions from the ban.
According to the Washington lawmakers behind the bill, “assault weapons are not suitable for self-defense” and “studies show that assault weapons are statistically not used in self-defense.”
“The legislature finds that assault weapons are not commonly used in self-defense and that any proliferation is not the result of the assault weapon being well-suited for self-defense, hunting, or sporting purposes,” HB 1240 continues. “Rather, increased sales are the result of the gun industry’s concerted efforts to sell more guns to a civilian market.”
The legislature claims that “the gun industry has specifically marketed these weapons as ‘tactical,’ ‘hyper masculine,’ and ‘military style’ in manner that overtly appeals to troubled young men intent on becoming the next mass shooter.”
Inslee insists the restrictions will “save lives.”
“WA does not and will not accept gun violence as normal,” he tweeted following the passage of the bill. “Banning the sale of assault weapons, our bill to enact training requirements and a wait period, and the bill to improve accountability of manufacturers and retailers will save lives.”
WA does not and will not accept gun violence as normal. Banning the sale of assault weapons, our bill to enact training requirements and a wait period, and the bill to improve accountability of manufacturers and retailers will save lives. #waleg https://t.co/6ceasI7JuL
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) April 19, 2023
But according to Sen. Lynda Wilson of Vancouver, HB 1240 is destined for the courts.
“HB 1240 clearly violates our state and federal constitutions, which is why it will end up in court immediately,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
So far, nine states including California, New York and Massachusetts, along with the District of Columbia, have passed similar bans against the weapons, AP reports. And in case you thought the restrictions infringe on that which shall not be infringed, the outlet notes that “the laws have been upheld as constitutional by the courts, according to Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson.”
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