“This is a very important vote. It is something that I’ve believed in since 1994 when I voted to make this federal law,” said Inslee, who served in Congress before being elected governor. He said the Legislature had broken “the NRA’s lock on Washington” and that “the vast majority of Washingtonians support this commonsense measure.”
Citing an epidemic of mass shootings and other gun violence in the U.S. and in the state, Democrats have flexed their majorities to push forward the assault-weapon ban while also advancing other gun restrictions, including a 10-day waiting period for purchases and a bill that would hold gunmakers liable for negligent sales.
During the debate on the assault-weapons bill, Democrats pointed to a nonstop succession of mass shootings across the country that have claimed the lives of schoolchildren, teachers, churchgoers, nightclub patrons and others, gunned down by assailants frequently wielding assault-style weapons such as AR-15s.
State Rep. Darya Farivar, D-Seattle, lamented a modern cycle of “deaths, sadness, thoughts and prayers, and then back to business.” She said she has experienced a shooter lockdown, and she decried the fearful reality faced by schoolchildren. “Our young people deserve better, and our young people are saying this is not good enough.”
Republicans said the ban violates the federal and state constitutions and predicted it would be overturned by courts. They also argued it would not stop criminals or prevent mass shootings while infringing on the rights of law-abiding people seeking to defend their families.
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