The Washington State Senate has passed House Bill 1240, which prohibits the manufacture, distribution, purchase, and sale of “assault weapons” within the state.
The bill received a 27-21 vote in favor on Saturday, mostly along party lines. Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson had called for the legislation, and Rep. Strom Peterson introduced it, with 25 other House Democrats co-sponsoring.
The bill now returns to the House chamber, its point of origin, for review of amendments, before moving on to Gov. Inslee’s desk for signature.
If signed, the bill’s emergency clause will command immediate activation of the law.
HB1240 comes just one day after lawmakers voted to approve a separate bill requiring a 10-day waiting period on all firearm purchases.
House Bill 1240
House Bill 1240 prohibits the “manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any assault weapon.”
Along with the ban, the legislation defines “assault weapons” ambiguously as:
semiautomatic rifles with an overall length of less than 30 inches; conversion kits and parts that can be used to assemble an assault weapon or convert a firearm into an assault weapon, if the parts are in the possession of or under the control of the same person; semiautomatic centerfire rifles that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and have one or more additional features listed in the bill; semiautomatic centerfire rifles with a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds; semiautomatic pistols that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and have one or more additional features listed in the bill; semiautomatic shotguns that have one or more additional features listed in the bill.
Features such as folding or telescoping stocks, flash suppressors, muzzle brakes, and thumbhole stocks are also listed in the bill.
SEE ALSO: SAF Files Legal Challenge to WA Mag Ban
However, the ban excludes sales to law enforcement and transfers for those who inherit such firearms. There are also no restrictions for those who currently own sporting weapons. The list of weapons named in the legislation includes:
- AK-47 in all forms
- AK-74 in all forms
- Algimec AGM-1 type semiautomatic
- American Arms Spectre da semiautomatic carbine
- AR15, M16, or M4 in all forms
- AR 180 type semiautomatic
- Argentine L.S.R. semiautomatic
- Australian Automatic
- Auto-Ordnance Thompson M1 and 1927 semiautomatics
- Barrett .50 cal light semiautomatic
- Barrett .50 cal M87
- Barrett .50 cal M107A1
- Barrett REC7
- Beretta AR70/S70 type semiautomatic
- Bushmaster Carbon 15
- Bushmaster ACR
- Bushmaster XM-15
- Bushmaster MOE
- Calico models M100 and M900
- CETME Sporter 4CIS SR 88 type semiautomatic
- Colt CAR 15
- Daewoo K-1
- Daewoo K-2
- Dragunov semiautomatic
- Fabrique Nationale FAL in all forms
- Fabrique Nationale F2000
- Fabrique Nationale L1A1 Sporter
- Fabrique Nationale M249S
- Fabrique Nationale PS90
- Fabrique Nationale SCAR
- FAMAS .223 semiautomatic
- Heckler & Koch G3 in all forms
- Heckler & Koch HK-41/91
- Heckler & Koch HK-43/93
- Heckler & Koch HK94A2/3
- Heckler & Koch MP-5 in all forms
- Heckler & Koch PSG-1
- Heckler & Koch SL8
- Heckler & Koch UMP
- Manchester Arms Commando MK-45
- Manchester Arms MK-9
- SIG AMT SG510 in all forms
- SIG SG550 in all forms
- SKS Spectre M4
- Springfield Armory BM-59
- Springfield Armory G3
- Springfield Armory SAR-8
- Springfield Armory SAR-48
- Springfield Armory SAR-3
- Springfield Armory M-21 sniper
- Springfield Armory M1A 7
- Smith & Wesson M&P 15
- Sterling Mk 1
- Sterling Mk 6/7
- Steyr AUG
- TNW M230
- FAMAS F11
- Uzi 9mm carbine/rifle
Additionally, House Bill 1240 only allows 90 days for firearm dealers and manufacturers to sell or transfer their existing stock out of the state.
Furthermore, the bill stipulates that violations will be considered a misdemeanor offense, which could result in a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a fine of $5,000.
WA Republican Response to House Bill 1240
Sen. Ron Muzzall told the Senate that 37 bills have been passed by state lawmakers to reduce gun violence since 2015. Of those, none have prevented gun violence or crime. Continuing, he explained that those laws haven’t been working and that crime in Washington isn’t just about firearms, it’s also about drugs and unsafe drivers.
In regard to House Bill 1240, Muzzall said, “The one thing that I see that lacks in this legislation today is bipartisanship to solve the problem. Why? Because we’re focusing on some firearms that we consider to be scary.”
More than 20 amendments to the bill were introduced, all but one being from Republicans. Some edits were approved such as Sen. Keith Wagoner’s consideration for retired and active-duty military members moving into the state.
Other amendments, like Sen. McCune’s attempt to remove the emergency clause, were not as successful.
Sporting Rifles Across the Nation
Given recent events, gun enthusiasts and defenders of the Second Amendment across the country are closely monitoring the ongoing assault on our rights. This latest move by Democrats in Washington State should not be dismissed lightly, as House Bill 1240 has significant implications for not just residents of the state, but for all Americans regardless of their location.
Furthermore, this bill fails to consider the impact on Washington residents who have made their livelihoods based on the belief that the Second Amendment is an enduring right. What options do companies like Aero Precision and Rainier Arms have when they are given only three months to relocate or shut down?
Therefore, it is essential to remind our representatives of their responsibility to uphold the Constitution. Ultimately, no one is going to be more invested in protecting our rights than we are.