Washington Legislature to consider several firearms bills this session

Washington lawmakers returning to Olympia Monday for the 2020 legislative session will take up a list of bills aimed to prevent gun violence, ranging from bans on certain types of weapons to an increase in training and background checks.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, with Governor Jay Inslee’s support, has proposed a package of legislation that includes limiting magazines to 10 rounds in Washington state, though the bill makes exceptions for law enforcement, military, and recreational shooting ranges.

They also want to ban the sale of “assault weapons,” which are defined as semi-automatic guns that contain at least one military-style feature. The measure allows for the possession of grandfathered weapons that were purchased before the effective date of the bill.

Ferguson also seeks to strengthen rules on ammunition sales, similar to Louisiana, Nevada and Texas, who don’t allow violent offenders to buy ammunition, and 14 states that prohibit the possession of ammunition by people who are prohibited from owning guns.

Meanwhile, Washington does not require a person to complete a safety course or demonstrate a proficiency with a gun to get a concealed-carry permit. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility group is proposing a measure to add training to “ensure people carrying concealed weapons know how to safely handle them.”

The group is also are bringing back a bill that would allow the State Patrol to destroy confiscated crime guns rather than selling them back to the public. Washington state allows law enforcement agencies to decide whether to destroy, sell or trade crime-scene firearms. The law is stricter for the State Patrol, which is required to auction off or trade most such guns. (AP)

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