U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Evergreen State gun owners are on high alert as the full impact of legislative proposals announced Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee and fellow Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson are sinking in.
They are proposing legislation to require permits to purchase firearms, a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and lawsuits against firearms manufacturers for crimes committed with guns they made. Perhaps emboldened by the passage of Measure 114 in neighboring Oregon—which included the purchase permit and training requirement—Inslee, Ferguson, and other anti-gun Democrats are forging ahead to make the 2023 legislative session a battle over gun rights, according to critics.
According to the Centralia Chronicle, Republican State Rep. Jim Walsh of the state’s 19th District has come out swinging. He called the proposals “a waste of taxpayers’ time and money,” and he predicted the courts would overturn them all.
In a release from Ferguson’s office, the attorney general noted:
“A July poll, sponsored by The Seattle Times, KING 5, the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communication, found that more than 60 percent of Washingtonians support a ban on assault weapons in the state. More Washingtonians supported a ban than opposed it on both sides of the Cascades, the poll found.
“A poll released in June performed by Public Policy Polling for the Northwest Progressive Institute similarly found that 56 percent of Washington voters support a ban on the sale of assault weapons.”
The reaction from some in the Second Amendment community has been a simple question: Since when are constitutional rights subject to the whims of public opinion polls?
Inslee opened his remarks by observing, “We lose over 800 Washingtonians a year to gun violence,” without acknowledging the majority of those fatalities are suicides.
He stated, “You need to get a license to drive a car in the state of Washington. You need to get a license to go fishing. It’s time to get a license to make sure you have the safety training to purchase a gun in the state of Washington. And it’s high time we pass a bill to make sure you get a permit before you purchase a firearm.”
One high-profile critic of the proposals was morning talk radio host John Carlson at Seattle’s KVI-AM. He reminded his audience that driving and recreational fishing are privileges while owning a firearm is a right protected by both the Washington State and U.S. constitutions.
As noted by the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Democrat State Sen. Jamie Pedersen of Seattle and Rep. David Hackney (D-Tukwila) will sponsor the legislation aimed at holding gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed with firearms. This legislation could run headlong into the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed during the George W. Bush administration. Efforts to repeal that law will be unsuccessful in the next Congress, with Republicans controlling the U.S. House of Representatives.
During his remarks, Ferguson contended, “These policies will save lives and ensure that the gun industry faces real consequences for irresponsible sales and marketing practices.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue) and Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) will sponsor the “assault weapons” ban legislation.
The pattern is clear to Washington gun owners: This new offensive is mounted by Democrats, who apparently are buoyed by the non-appearance of a “red wave” in November, thanks in part to lower-than-predicted conservative voter turnout.
As previously reported by Ammoland, tenets of Oregon’s Measure 114 are already being challenged in federal and state court. A Circuit judge in Harney County has blocked the permit-to-purchase process from taking effect until a trial can be held to determine whether it is legal.
The federal lawsuits are challenging both the permit requirement and the ban on magazines capable of holding more than ten cartridges. The result of all these legal actions is that every major gun rights organization in the country have focused their attention on Oregon. The same will likely happen of the Inslee/Ferguson gun control package becomes law north of the Columbia River.
Earlier this year, Washington Democrats pushed through a ban on so-called “large capacity magazines” and that law is already being challenged in federal court.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling in June, about the only certainty is that passage of these measures will bring a flood of legal challenges.
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