Washington

Seattle Times Editorial: SB 5062 a "Sensible Next Step" by Charles Yeganian

Gun owners and sellers maintain that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition are the most common sold and used in the United States. Reloading after 10 rounds would not be a hardship. Forcing a shooter intent on killing in a school or shopping mall to pause could definitely save lives.

At least nine states and some local governments already ban or regulate high-capacity magazines, with limits ranging from 10 to 20 rounds. In March 2015, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld such a regulation in California saying it did not violate the Second Amendment, but several other cases, including a different California case, are currently working their way through the courts. The Legislature should pass Senate Bill 5062 and join California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont in taking this sensible action.

The legislation makes exceptions for law enforcement and military, as well as some other provisions for possession of family heirlooms, for example.

LEAP Forward is continuing to grade SB 5062 and is scoring support.

Washington: Committee Hearings Continue on High Capacity Magazine Ban by Charles Yeganian

“High-capacity magazines enable those with criminal intent to maximize carnage,” said the bill’s led sponsor, Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, citing 2016 shootings in Mukilteo and Burlington that left eight dead. “Limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds strikes a balance, allowing critical time for first responders to intervene and save lives while permitting magazines with enough ammunition to maintain self-defense.”

Ami Strahan of Spokane told the committee that her 15-year-old son, Sam, was shot and killed at Freeman High School in 2017 by a fellow student who had two guns. She said the shooter’s AR-15 rifle, which was equipped with a high-capacity magazine, jammed and so he had to use a pistol instead. Three other students were seriously injured.

“Had his high-capacity magazine rifle not jammed, just imagine the carnage that would have happened at the school that day,” Strahan said. “No one law alone can prevent all gun violence, but there is more we can do to keep our kids and communities safe.”

LEAP Forward is grading action on the high capacity magazine ban - SB 5062 - and is scoring support.

Washington AG Bob Ferguson Testifies in Favor of High Capacity Magazine Ban by Charles Yeganian

From KIRO 7:

“[High-capacity magazines] were used in Newton, Las Vegas, Aurora, Parkland. The Parkland shooting only came to an end when the shooter had to come to a stop to reload,” Ferguson said in his testimony.

Hundreds of people packed the state Legislature on Monday to voice either their support or opposition to the proposals.

“People served best by high-capacity magazines are mass shooters,” said Las Vegas shooting survivor and Seattle local Emily Cantrell. “High-capacity magazines paired with a bump stock allowed the shooter to fire 90 shots in 10 seconds — imagine 1,100 rounds total in 10 minutes coming right at you.”

Law Enforcement Officer in Washington Won't Enforce Law by Charles Yeganian

See how many betrayals of “conservative principles” you can find in these three paragraphs, from the AP and reported in KOMO News:

A city in Eastern Washington is considering becoming a "sanctuary city" to shield itself from gun laws after its police chief says he won't allow his department to enforce the regulations passed by voters under Initiative 1639, saying the new gun laws violate the Second Amendment.

Initiative 1639 raises the age limit to buy some weapons from 18 to 21 and opens a gateway to prosecute people who sell guns to customers who can't legally own them. It also requires guns to be safely stored at home.

Republic Police Chief Loren Culp says he's instructing Republic police officers to not enforce I-1639 when it becomes law on Jan. 1.

King County (WA) to Require Warning Signs at Gun Dealerships by Charles Yeganian

The analogy of treating the gun industry the way we treated big tobacco is one that’s used fairly often, but I can’t remember an act more directly related to this approach than what the King County Board of Health just did in Washington state:

The King County Board of Health has unanimously passed what is believed to be the west coast’s first law requiring stores selling firearms to post warning signs at entrances and cash registers. The regulation also requires the warnings to be posted at firing ranges.

Board of Health rules and regulations have jurisdiction throughout the county, including within all 39 municipalities and unincorporated areas.
First proposed by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott this past summer, the signs will warn of the increased risk of suicide, fatal acts of domestic violence, and unintentional deaths to children in homes where a gun is present.

The law, put into place by the nation’s 13th largest county would also require the signage to include contact information for suicide prevention hotlines. Dealers not complying will face a fine of $100 per day.

Washington has been in the news a lot lately on the issue of guns - a King County judge last month upheld a Seattle safe storage law, and a pro-regulation initiative was overwhelmingly passed by the state’s voters on election day. This latest action in King County a clear example of local officials seeing a problem, and seeking to solve it.

According to the Board of Health, guns were the third-highest cause of death in Washington in 2015, the most recent year data is available. Seven-hundred and fourteen died after being shot that year, and 75 percent of those deaths were suicides, according to the state Department of Health. Of the 714 killed by guns in 2015, 146 lived in King County.

Washington Voters Passed a Raft of Stricter Gun Regulations by Charles Yeganian

Obviously, the biggest story of last Tuesday played out in hundreds of individual races between candidates that decided the legislative future of individual states and the nation as a whole. But one of the must under-reported stories when it comes to attempts to regulate firearms has been some creative ways activists and municipalities have taken the issue directly to voters.

Photo by David Ryder for Crosscut

Photo by David Ryder for Crosscut

The best example of this was in Washington, where the passage of Initiative 1639 could usher in a number of new laws , including raising the minimum age for purchase, toughening background checks, mandate a waiting period, and generally speaking vault Washington to among the nation’s foremost gun regulating states. The fight, however, is not over:

Though the initiative passed, its final outcome is likely to drag beyond November. Opponents have already been mulling lawsuits, mostly on the accusation that raising the purchasing age of firearms is a constitutional violation.

It would not be the first legal battle faced by the initiative. Opponents challenged the measure to try and block it from the ballot. A Thurston County judge sided with them in August, tossing out the measure. But the state Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

“There’s likely going to be additional work to get it implemented,” said Paul Kramer, the initiative’s citizen sponsor, whose son was injured in the 2016 Mukilteo shooting. “It’s not necessarily a slam dunk. But I have every intention to see it through to the end.”