During the 2021 legislative session, several new firearm restrictions are being proposed in Washington State. Led primarily by Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the current legislative session is replete with new legislation, which if passed, would significantly limit the Second Amendment Rights of Washington citizens.
A summary of each bill is below with links to specific pages for each piece of legislation.
New Firearms Bills Currently Before Washington State Legislature 2021 Legislative Session.
Senate Bill 5078 "High Capacity Magazine Ban." Companion Bill: HB 1164
Senate Bill 5078, is a measure that will ban the manufacture, possession, sale, transfer, etc. of magazines that “are capable of holding” or hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. This includes conversion kits or parts from which any such magazine may be assembled. These so called “high capacity” magazines are in fact standard equipment for commonly-owned firearms that many Americans legally and effectively use for an entire range of legitimate purposes, such as self-defense or competition. Those who own non-compliant magazines prior to the ban are only allowed to possess them on their own property and in other limited instances such as at licensed shooting ranges or while hunting. Prohibited magazines would have to be transported unloaded and locked separately from firearms and stored at home locked, making them unavailable for self-defense. Any violation of this measure would be a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Senate Bill 5038 "Ban on Open Carry at Demonstrations and State Capitol"
Senate Bill 5038 will be considered by the Senate Law and Justice Committee. As drafted, the bill makes it a crime to openly carry, on the person or in a vehicle, a firearm or other “weapon” if the person is participating in or attending a “demonstration” in a public place. “Demonstration” is loosely defined to mean any behavior by at least one person expressing views or airing grievances which is intended to or attracts an unspecified number of onlookers (a “crowd”). The bill would also prohibit openly carrying a firearm or other weapon within 1,000 feet of a demonstration in a public place after a law enforcement officer advises the person to leave. The intent of the bill is called into question because a single person expressing their views on the sidewalk could be considered a “demonstration” under this legislation. Senate Bill 5038 potentially causes those who are engaging in otherwise lawful activities to become criminals because of the actions of others.
Senate Bill 5217 "Assault Weapon Ban." Companion Bill HB 1229
Senate Bill 5127 is the "assault weapon ban" that we have all be concerned about. If passed, this legislation, would ban the possession, manufacturing, distribution, import, transfer, sale, offer for sale, purchase, or otherwise transfer any assault weapon except as authorized in the new law.
Currently, as written, the law would not apply to the possession of an assault weapon by a person who legally possesses the assault weapon at the time this law goes into effect or possesses an assault weapon, on or after the effective date of the new law, but acquired possession of the assault weapon by operation of the law upon the death of the former owner who was in legal possession of the assault weapon, provided the person in possession of the assault weapon can establish such provenance. A person who legally possesses an assault weapon under this subsection would be prohibited from selling or transferring the assault weapon to any other person in this state other than to a licensed dealer, to a federally licensed gun smith for the purpose of service or repair, or to a law enforcement agency for the purpose of permanently relinquishing the assault weapon.
Act Now: Again, please contact members of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 5078 and Senate Bill 5038 and Senate Bill 5217. If you would like to submit written or live testimony, you can do so by clicking here and selecting the Senate Law and Justice at the top, as well as the correct meeting date and bill for which you want to submit testimony.