Acting in the late night after three hours of debate, Democrats in the Washington State House of Representatives passed 55-42 a ban on the future sale, purchase, manufacture or importation of so-called “large capacity” ammunition magazines carrying more than 10 rounds, leaving gun rights activists vowing to “remember in November.”
Quoted by the Seattle Times, Rep. Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor) stated, “It is clear that the bill before us now impairs the right of the individual citizen to bear arms.”
Senate Bill 5078 was requested by anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson and sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett).
Leading up to the vote, House members were inundated with calls and emails from thousands of Evergreen State gun owners. Daniel Mitchell, a firearms retailer in Vancouver, was among those promising electoral payback this fall.
“State Democrats failed to hear the combined voices of 15,000 citizens that signed into a hearing, opposing this bill,” Mitchell told Liberty Park Press via email. “Those voices will echo into November.”
Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee has already promised to sign magazine ban legislation.
According to the Daily Olympian, if Inslee signs it as anticipated, the ban will take effect July 1. Between now and then, grassroots activists predict sales of original capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 cartridges will skyrocket.
A proponent of the legislation, Rep. Liz Berry (D-Seattle), insisted “This bill will save lives.”
Wade Gaughran, owner of a popular Bellevue gun store and indoor shooting range, told KING News, “There’s no way that an intelligent person is going to look at this law and see that it would stop or limit or change…any kind of mass shooting.”
“Fury” might best describe reaction from gun owners who woke up Saturday morning to learn of the bill’s passage. Several amendments were submitted by Republicans, but Democrats voted in lockstep to reject them.
The Seattle Times article described passage of SB 5078 “perhaps the biggest win at the Legislature in recent years for advocates of gun regulations.” Washington now will join nine other states and the District of Columbia in banning original capacity magazines holding more than 10 cartridges.
Violation of the law is a gross misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of $5,000 fine and 364 days in jail if convicted.
Gun owners are already mobilizing. The Washington 2022 Legislative Action Group, which has been growing in numbers since the beginning of the legislative session, now boasts more than 11,000 members. Other gun owners are using social media forums.
Under conditions of the measure, magazines that are currently owned may be retained. Mitchell put together a fact sheet: