Republican state representatives opposed the ban, with some arguing that school shootings should be addressed by retrofitting buildings to make them less attractive targets, and others saying it violated people’s right to defend themselves.
“HB 1240 is a clear violation of our state and federal constitutions, which is why it will end up in court immediately,” said Senator Lynda Wilson.
A reinstatement of the ban on semi-automatic rifles by the U.S. Congress seems out of date. But President Joe Biden and other Democrats are increasingly emboldened to push for stronger gun control — and to do so without apparent electoral consequences.
Nine states, including California, New York and Massachusetts, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed similar bans and the laws have been confirmed by courts as constitutional, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.
In Colorado, delegates debated similar gun measures on Wednesday, but a blanket ban on semiautomatic guns is more likely.
Delegates in Texas put a raft of proposed new gun restrictions on hold without a vote after hours of emotional appeals by the families of the Uvaldi family whose children were killed last year. The hearing didn’t end until early Wednesday morning.
During the debate on the Washington state bill, Democrats spoke of the frequent mass shootings that have left people dead at churches, nightclubs, grocery stores and schools.
Senator Liz Lovelett said children’s concerns about school shootings need to be addressed.
“They’re marching in the streets. They’re demanding action from us,” Lovelet said. “We have to be able to give our children reason to feel hopeful.”
A gun control bill passed this session in Washington would allow people whose family members have died from gun violence to sue if a manufacturer or seller “has acted irresponsibly in the way they handled, stored or sold these weapons.” Under the state’s consumer protection laws, the attorney general can sue manufacturers or sellers for negligently selling firearms to minors or allowing people who legally bought firearms to sell them to people who cannot legally own them. people.
A second bill would require gun buyers to certify that they have received safety training. It will also impose a 10-day waiting period on all gun purchases — already mandatory in Washington for buying semi-automatic rifles.
Some gun control legislation in other states has been struck down since last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that set a new standard for reviewing state gun laws. The ruling said the government must demonstrate that gun control laws are “consistent with the nation’s historic tradition of gun control.”