WA Lawmakers revive effort to ban ‘large capacity magazines’

california gun owners
Two Washington State lawmakers have filed a bill to prohibit “high capacity” magazines.

Two liberal Democrats in the Washington State Legislature have pre-filed, at the request of anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a bill that seeks to prohibit so-called “large capacity magazines” that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Sponsored by Senators Patty Kuderer and Marko Liias, the latter being Senate Majority leader, Senate Bill 5078 has some exemptions for magazines already owned by Washington citizens, or that may come into their possession by means of inheritance. It’s not the first attempt to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, but in the past gun rights activists and organizations have been able to stop it. This year, with the Legislature conducting hearings remotely, that may be a challenge.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is already alerting its members and Evergreen State gun owners about the legislation. In a news release published Friday by The Outdoor Wire, NSSF stated, “NSSF’s Government Relations – State Affairs team is committed to defeating all egregious bills this session and will provide updates on the situation as the session unfolds. As we get more information in the coming days, we’ll follow up this alert with ways you can help us defeat this anti-industry bill.”

It comes on the heels of another Kuderer-sponsored bill, SB 5038, which would ban open carry at demonstrations or rallies in public places, and prohibit open carry on the Capitol grounds.

But gun control hasn’t been too successful in accomplishing its promised goals in the Evergreen State. Indeed, a look at crime data shows that two gun control initiatives passed in 2014 and 2018, nor a gun and ammunition tax adopted in Seattle in 2015 have lowered the homicide rate. Instead, murders have remained fairly static statewide while the number of homicides nearly doubled in Seattle last year over 2019. Tacoma had 23 slayings last year.

In 2015, the first full year following passage of gun control Initiative 594, Washington state reported 209 slayings of which 141 involved guns. The next year saw 195 murders, including 127 with firearms, and in 2017 the number bounced back up to 228 murders including 134 involving firearms. In 2018, the year gun control Initiative 1639 was passed, there were 232 murders including 138 with firearms, and in 2019, the state logged 194 slayings including 135 with guns.

Seattle adopted its gun/ammo tax in 2015. In 2016, the city reported 19 murders, which is remarkable for a city of its size. In 2017, Seattle logged 27 slayings and in 2018, 32 killings were committed In 2019, the city reported 28 murders and last year, according to a Friday update by the Seattle Police Department, the city posted an astonishing 51 murders. A couple of murders that had originally been included on the Seattle chart were ultimately determined to have happened in neighboring Burien, a police information officer explained.


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