WA Attorney General Wants Ban on Assault Weapons, High Capacity Magazines
Apparently the Attorney General is persistent about this idea.
For the second time in less than a year, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is proposing the state legislature enact a ban on what he calls 'assault weapons' and high capacity magazines.
Ferguson's statements were released Monday, January9th, and come on the heels of a failed attempt to do so last September. Ferguson issued the following claim Monday in a news release:
Ban on sale of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines
A review of mass shootings between January 2009 and January 2013 by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 135 percent more people shot and 57 percent more killed, compared to other mass shootings.
Ferguson also claimed that according to a study from Johns Hopkins, a national ban on high-capacity magazines would prevent 100 homicides and 500 people from being wounded by shootings every year.
Two Democratic Senators have co-sponsored legislation to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons, and ban the use of any ammunition cartridge that exceeds ten rounds. Ferguson made an attempt last September after the Mukilteo killings that took the lives of three people. He said, referring to such weapons as AR-15's, that these weapons have "no place for civilian use."
However, he acknowledged passing such a ban would be difficult, and last September the bill was defeated easily. Last September, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler accused Ferguson of "using state resources to promote himself in a election year," referring to the idea of promoting a weapons ban to gain attention and notoriety.
Given that the breakdown of the Senate and House have not changed greatly in the last election cycle, it is unlikely such legislation will pass, especially past the GOP controlled Senate.
There has been much debate about the AR-15 and such weapons in general. They are generally legally available only in semi-automatic configuration to the public. Fully automatic weapons are only allowed to those who go through a rigorous backround and ATF check, a very laborious process usually not undertaken by the typical gun owner. Few people are in possession of fully automatic weapons. Among gun owners, experts and those who know, fully automatic weapons are considered assault guns, not semi-autos.