Even though the 2018 legislative session doesn’t convene until January 8th, anti-gun legislators have already announced their gun control agenda and have pre-filed restrictive firearm related legislation in Olympia. In addition to two sweeping gun control bills carried over from the 2017 session, anti-gun legislators also aim to dismantle Washington’s state preemption law and ban certain firearm accessories and modifications.
At a press conference earlier this week, Representative Nicole Macri (D-43) announced she will be pushing legislation to abolish Washington’s decades old state firearm preemption statute. Passed by the legislature in 1983, the state preemption statute helps keep firearm and ammunition laws consistent throughout Washington by establishing that the State Legislature has full authority to regulate and create laws pertaining to firearms and ammunition. These statutes help prevent a confusing patchwork of gun control laws which make it difficult for gun owners to ensure they are following the law. Further, Second Amendment rights are guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of where one resides. State preemption statutes help protect against the infringement of rights of citizens who live in localities controlled by anti-gun elected officials.
Also on the agenda is pre-filed Senate Bill 5992, sponsored by Senator Kevin Van De Wege (D-24), that mirrors federal legislation proposed by anti-gun California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). This bill would make it a crime to knowingly possess a firearm accessory or any other device, part or combination of parts that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. The broad and overreaching provisions in SB 5992 could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers, muzzle brakes, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by law-abiding gun owners to make their firearms more suitable for self-defense, competition, hunting, or even overcoming disability.
Anti-gun legislators also renewed their intentions to push two sweeping gun control bills carried over from the 2017 Legislative Session. SB 5444/HB 1387 would impose a registration-licensing system for commonly owned semi-automatic rifles and ammunition magazines holding ten or more rounds, and SB 5463/HB 1122 would require individuals to lock up firearms or potentially face Class C Felony charges. This intrusive government legislation invades people’s homes and forces them to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation by locking them up.
Your NRA-ILA will be at the Capitol on a daily basis during the legislative session to fight on behalf of our members and supporters. With anti-gun legislators and officials already renewing their push to restrict our rights, it will be more important than ever for all Second Amendment supporters to be involved during the upcoming legislative session that begins on January 8th.