Washington’s Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have thrown their weight behind efforts to ban so-called “assault-style semiautomatic rifles” during the 2023 session of the State Legislature, and Crosscut is reporting that State Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue) will introduce the legislation.
Inslee has been advocating for stricter gun control laws for years as he has seemingly tilted farther to the left with each year in office.
An example of just how far that might be came last month during his “2022 Governor’s Equity Summit” in Tacoma. According to Fox News, it was then that “a governor-appointed state education agency telling other state agencies that concepts like ‘objectivity’ and ‘individualism’ are rooted in ‘White supremacy culture’ and should be rejected in favor of ‘indigenous relational pedagogy.’”
Inslee’s opening remarks at that summit, as reported by Fox News, included the pronouncement, “We don’t break centuries of habit and thinking, unless we decide to break the chains of that history.”
Critics might suggest Inslee’s appreciation of equity comes to an abrupt halt where the rights of gun-owning Evergreen State citizens—regardless of heritage—enter into the discussion. The right to keep and bear arms, protected by both the federal and state constitutions, is apparently considered a second-class right in the governor’s office.
The third-term governor, and failed 2020 presidential candidate whose green agenda never gained momentum among Democrat voters during the primaries, and the attorney general are perennial anti-gunners.
Already, issues they supported in the past—Initiative 1639 passed in 2018, and this year’s ban on so-called “large capacity magazines”—are being challenged by federal lawsuits. The Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation is involved in both legal actions, and is connected with challenges of similar gun control laws elsewhere. A ban on “assault rifles” in Maryland made it to the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year where the lower court ruling against the lawsuit was granted certiorari, vacated and sent back to the lower court for further consideration based on new guidelines contained in the Bruen ruling in June.
The Maryland case is known as Bianchi, et al. v. Frosh, et al. SAF’s sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, is also a plaintiff in that case.
Underscoring the belief that gun control operates on the “falling domino” principle, Washington is the only state with a definition of a “semiautomatic assault rifle,” adopted as part of I-1639 four years ago. The gun prohibition lobby couldn’t achieve a ban, but once they managed to get language in the law defining such firearms, they waited a few years and came back for a complete ban.
Under Washington law, “Semiautomatic assault rifle’ means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge,” according to the language in the statute.
This definition literally applies to every semi-auto rifle ever manufactured anywhere on the planet.