Washington Legislature Passes Semi-Automatic Rifle Ban

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Another gun control restriction has been passed by Washington state legislatures, implementing a ban on dozens of models of semi-automatic rifles on Wednesday.

Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign the bill (HB 1240) into law and posted his reaction to this latest effort to stop the growing list of mass shootings in the United States.

“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 waiting period, and the bill to improve the accountability of manufacturers and retailers will save lives,” the governor posted on Twitter in response to the bill’s approval.

The Washington law would block the sale, distribution, manufacture, and importation of more than 50 gun models, including AR-15s, AK-47s, and similar-style rifles. Some exemptions are included for sales to law enforcement agencies and the military in Washington. The measure does not bar the possession of weapons by people who already have them.

Republican state lawmakers opposed the ban, with some contending school shootings should be addressed by remodeling buildings to make them less appealing as targets and others saying it infringes on people’s right to defend themselves.

“HB 1240 clearly violates our state and federal constitutions, which is why it will end up in court immediately,” state Sen. Lynda Wilson of Vancouver said in a statement.

President Joe Biden called for stronger gun control laws during a visit to Monterey Park, California, in March, where he met the families of the mass shooting that claimed 11 lives and injured nine others in January 2023.

“I’m here on behalf of the American people, to mourn with you, to pray with you. To let you know you’re loved and not alone. Every case is different. But I know what it’s like. I know what that’s like to get that call,” Biden said in his speech.

Requirements should be enforced more effectively before an individual can buy a firearm.

“It’s just common sense to check whether someone is a felon, a domestic abuser before they buy a gun,” Biden added.

Gun manufacturing CEOs Marty Daniel of Daniel Defense and Christopher Killoy of Sturm, Ruger & Co. both testified last year before Congress and denied any responsibility in connection to America’s mass shootings over the decade.

“I believe that these murders are a local problem that has to be solved locally,” Daniel said in a statement. “These acts are committed by murderers. The murderers are responsible.”

By Elizabeth Dowell

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