Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced
the introduction of two bills aimed at reducing deadly mass shootings: a
previously announced proposal to ban the sale of assault weapons and
high-capacity magazines, and a second, alternative bill enhancing
background checks and raising the minimum age required to buy such
weapons and magazines.
A review of mass shootings between January 2009 and January 2013 by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 135 percent more people shot and 57 percent more killed, compared to other mass shootings.
Ferguson’s proposal bans the sale of assault weapons, as defined in the bill, similar to legislation passed in New York and Connecticut and upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court.
The ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines applies to magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Currently, there is no limit on the capacity of magazines in Washington.
The legislation covers only sales, thereby grandfathering current gun ownership. The legislation would not require registration of existing weapons but would require them to be safely and securely stored.
Sen. David Frockt, D-46, and Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, are the bill’s prime sponsors.
"This past year, we all watched in horror as the mass shootings in Orlando and Dallas took place,” said Rep. Peterson. “And then it happened here, in Mukilteo. It's past the time we stand up for our communities and keep these assault weapons from destroying more families.”
A teenager employed at Shoreline Community College was killed in the shooting. See previous article.
Ferguson also proposed a second bill, which creates a new license to purchase and possess assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Sen. Frockt also sponsored the background-check bill.
Similar to a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), Ferguson’s proposed license limits assault weapons ownership to those over 21 years of age. The current minimum age to purchase an assault weapon is 18. Allen Ivanov, the accused perpetrator of the July 2016 Mukilteo shootings, was 19 when he purchased the AR-15 he allegedly used to murder three former classmates and wound another.
A license would be required for any purchase of an assault weapon or high-capacity magazine. At the time of purchase, an additional in-depth background check would be conducted, and all purchases would be subject to a 10-day waiting period — similar to standard handgun purchases.
The license must be renewed annually to ensure the holder maintains eligibility to possess these weapons and magazines.
Representative Laurie Jinkins, D—Tacoma, is sponsoring a companion House bill.