The State Senate In Washington Has Officially Approved A Ban On High-Capacity Rifles

Associated Press

It was recently reported that the Washington state Senate approved a ban on the distribution and sale of firearm magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition, The Seattle Times is reporting. The 28-20 vote came late Wednesday. It must still be passed by the state House.

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Marko Liias, a Democrat, recalled a 2016 shooting in Washington that left three people dead before the gunman ran out of ammunition.

“On July 30, 2016, I vowed to myself and to my community that I would do everything in my power to ensure that no family has to go through what our community went through,” Liias said. “This measure will make Washington a safer place.”

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson had requested the legislation.

“The Legislature put public safety above the interest of the gun lobby,” Ferguson said in a statement after the vote. “This historic vote represents an important step toward combating mass shootings. The devastation of mass shootings traumatizes entire communities. The research is clear — bans on the sale of high-capacity magazines saves lives. It’s time for the House of Representatives to act,  and send this public safety bill to the Governor.”

Ferguson’s office said in the statement: “This is the sixth session the Attorney General has proposed this legislation. Today’s vote marks the first time a limit on magazine capacity has passed a chamber of the Washington Legislature.

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“Senate Bill 5078 prohibits the sale, attempted sale, and distribution of high-capacity magazines. It does not prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines.”

And it added: “In all, seven federal courts of appeals have upheld laws prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines. There is currently no split or controversy in the federal courts of appeal on this issue. The United States Supreme Court has allowed appeals court decisions upholding these laws to stand.”

According to the Times, the bill exempts corrections officers, law enforcement, and members of the armed forces or Washington’s National Guard from the ban.

However, the newspaper said it is uncertain whether Democrats can get the bill approved by the state House before the end of the legislative session on March 10.

House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, a Democrat, didn’t commit to giving it a floor vote.

However, she said, “It’s never a harmful year to do bills on gun safety.”

But state Sen. Keith Wagoner, a Republican, pointed to the magazines already in circulation and said, “This bill isn’t going to do anything.”

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