WA House Passes Assault Weapons Ban
A bill to ban the sale of assault weapons is moving forward in the Washington Legislature after years of being stalled.
The House passed the measure 55-42 largely on party lines, with all four Republicans representing Chelan and Douglas counties voting against it.
Seventh District Representative Jacqueline Maycumber took issue with language stating the gun industry marketed the weapons as "hyper masculine."
"Now that I've read this intent section, I will maybe have to become hyper masculine again," said Maycumber. "Maybe my daughters will. Maybe some of us on this House floor will if that's what it means, if it means protect yourself or others by laying your life on the line. And usually in those moments, madam speaker, we hope for hyper masculinity."
Democrat Tana Senn of Mercer Island described her daughter's experience with an active shooter at school.
"My daughter was in her language class. And somebody was hunting and looking to use children as target practice," said Senn. "So, their self-defense was to stack up all the tables and chairs in their classroom against the door, because they were concerned about an active shooter."
Wednesday night's passage of the assault weapons ban came shortly before a deadline that would've killed the bill (the last day to pass bills in the house of origin). Similar bills had failed to advance in six previous attempts.
The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Washington would join nine other states in banning the sales of assault weapons if the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by the governor.
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement supporting the bill Wednesday night.
“Assault weapons have contributed to some of the deadliest shootings over the last decade, and keeping more of them out of our communities will make Washington a safer place,” Gov. Inslee said. “I applaud the bill sponsors and the Attorney General’s Office for helping advance this crucial public safety measure.”
The bill lists more than 50 guns, including well know military style weapons such as AR 15s, AK-47s and M 16s, that would be banned from sale, manufacture or importation in the state.
Republicans said the bill would violate the federal and state constitutions, and would likely be overturned in court.
More than 15 GOP backed amendments were proposed to either narrow delay the measure, which were all withdrawn or rejected on a voice vote.
Democratic majorities have passed several other bills through chambers in the current session. The House passed a 10-day waiting period and safety training to buy firearms this week.
The Senate also passed a bill opening gun manufacturers and sellers to liability for guns used in criminal activity.