Legislation that would ban so-called “high capacity magazines” in Washington State—scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday morning before the state House Civil Rights & Judiciary committee—had garnered almost 15,000 “con” notifications prior to the hearing, while less than 1,000 “pro” notifications had been logged.
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5078 would prohibit ammunition magazines for rifles or pistols exceeding 10 rounds. Larger capacity magazines already in possession would be still allowed.
But Evergreen State gun owners are unified in their opposition to the measure, which was requested by anti-gun Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson and sponsored by Bellevue Democrat state Sen. Patty Kuderer, with a handful of co-sponsors, all Democrats.
The hearing was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The bill has already passed the Democrat-controlled Senate on a party-line vote 28-20. It is scheduled for a committee vote on Friday.
The bill defines a “large capacity magazine” as “an ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition, or any conversion kit, part, or combination of parts, from which such a device can be assembled if those parts are in possession of or under the control of the same person.”
Tubular magazines are exempted.
But magazines for commonly-owned sidearms and modern sporting rifles, and extended after-market magazines for the Ruger 10/22 semi-auto rimfire rifles and the 22 Charger would be affected.
The billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group, has been encouraging its members to support ESSB 5078, claiming it will improve public safety.
In an email blast following Senate passage of the measure, Alliance leader Renee Hopkins acknowledged opponents of ESSB 5078 are “fired up.”
They also outnumber anti-gun supporters about 15-1. Acknowleding that, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today applauded Washington State gun owners and Second Amendment activists for the record response to a controversial and radical Senate bill (ESSB 5078) that seeks to ban so-called “large capacity” ammunition magazines.
As speaker after speaker testified before the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary, it became clear this bill—requested by anti-gun Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson—will not provide any solution to violent crime involving firearms.
“We were especially impressed by remarks from Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, whose law enforcement experience and perspective should convince lawmakers this attempt to limit magazine capacity makes no sense and will accomplish nothing,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.
“Most impressive of all,” he added, “was that nearly 15,000 Washington citizens signed up to oppose this measure, against fewer than 900 who support the bill. Gun prohibition groups supporting the ban will complain that the so-called ‘gun lobby’ is pressuring lawmakers, but the reality is that thousands of this state’s law-abiding gun owners, who represent hundreds of thousands of other good citizens, oppose extremist gun control and they are turning out to stop it.”
The turnout gave lawmakers an opportunity to see the diversity of people opposing this ban, including women and minorities.
“The thousands of citizens who took the time to weigh in on this egregious bill are to be congratulated for their willingness to participate in the legislative process,” Gottlieb said. “Too often in the past, gun owners have remained quietly on the sidelines while their rights were being trampled, but Wednesday’s turnout should signal anti-gun lawmakers they have awakened a sleeping giant ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.
“Evergreen State gun owners are paying attention and taking notes,” he observed. “We’re tired of being penalized for crimes we didn’t commit, and for having our rights eroded while real criminals have repeatedly shown they will not obey new gun laws, same as they have consistently ignored existing laws. Today’s lopsided opposition to the proposed magazine ban should send a message to Olympia enough is enough.”
Interestingly, anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety recently messaged its supporters about “136 instances of gun violence at schools across the country” between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31 last year.
Meanwhile, Education Week recently published an article in which it reported “There have been 10 school shootings this year. There have been 102 school shootings since 2018, when Education Week began tracking such incidents. The highest number of shootings, 34, occurred last year. There were 10 shootings in 2020, and 24 each in 2019 and 2018.”
At the Facebook page for the Washington 2022 Legislative Action Group, there are several ongoing discussions about the magazine ban legislation. This group has more than 11,000 members statewide and appears to be growing daily. If the Democrat-controlled Legislature passes this measure, they could face a backlash in November in which the gun vote will be crucial to shifting power for the first time in more than a decade.