Both chambers of the Washington state legislature have approved a ban on assault-style firearms, sending the measure to the governor’s desk for signature. Washington will become the 10th state to enforce such a law.
House Bill 1240, requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee and sponsored by Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, passed the House of Representatives on March 8, and the Senate today,
“The Senate today put public safety above the interest of the gun lobby,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “The devastation of mass shootings extends far beyond the casualties and injuries. Mass shootings traumatize entire communities. We must stop selling these weapons of war in Washington.”
“Passing an assault weapon ban will be a momentous step forward for Washington state,” Inslee said. “Time and again we’ve seen the carnage these weapons allow people to unleash on communities. Time and again we’ve watched the NRA and politicians defend, normalize and even celebrate these weapons. But now the time is here when the majority’s will prevails and we put the lives of our children first.”
“Our nation is averaging well over one mass shooting every single day and have been for years,” Peterson said. “Gun violence cuts short too many lives, leaves survivors with a lifetime of trauma and forces our kids to live every day with the fear of an active shooter. We need to do more to slow gun violence and with today’s vote, we are taking that next important step to protect the people we love.”
“Stop and think for a moment that firearms are now the leading cause of death among children in the U.S.,” Kuderer said. “Not traffic accidents. Not cancer or other illnesses. Not poisoning. Firearms. To ignore the seemingly endless instances of gun violence in our country would put us on the wrong side of history. These weapons of war have no place in our schools, places of worship, our streets or in our communities. Banning assault weapons marks a victory for common sense and will help us move toward a safer future for Washingtonians.”
This legislation prohibits the sale, manufacture, and import of assault weapons in Washington state while allowing reasonable exemptions for manufacture and sale to law enforcement and the military. The legislation does not prohibit the possession of assault weapons.