Last night, anti-gun legislators introduced substitute bills for Senate Bill 5444 and Senate Bill 5463. These substituted versions will replace the original bills that are scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, January 15th. NRA remains opposed to this anti-gun legislation and needs your help to stop it. Please contact members of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and continue urging them to OPPOSE all gun control legislation that is being heard on Monday!
The proposed Substitute for Senate Bill 5444 is a stepping stone to a larger prohibition. As drafted, anyone under the age of 21 would be virtually unable to possess commonly owned semi-automatic rifles. This legislation attempts to brand these firearms as “assault weapons” to drum up unnecessary fear of their ownership. The proposed substitute would treat these so-called "assault weapons" like handguns under state law, which requires a waiting period of 10 days or until all federal and state background checks have been completed. Individuals would be required to complete the same purchase application as for handguns. The Washington Department of Licensing would be granted permission to store this information under SB 5444, creating a back-door registry.
In reality, these firearms are only being defined by aesthetic features that in no way affect the functionality of the rifle. Law-abiding Washingtonians should not be prohibited from possessing these popular firearms just because anti-gun legislators want to enact at least some part of their political agenda this year. Further, this legislation would have absolutely zero impact on crime.
The Substitute for Senate Bill 5463 would create civil liability for individuals that do not lock up their firearm if it is obtained and used by a prohibited person in the commission of a crime or to cause harm or injury to another. While NRA encourages storing firearms in a manner that is appropriate for your personal situation, there is nothing in SB 5463 to protect individuals who have their firearms stolen or acquired by illegal entry, theft, or burglary. A firearm owner should not be held liable for the crimes committed by a prohibited person who has illegally obtained their firearm. Such liability invades people’s homes and forces them to lock up their firearms or potentially be sued for the wrongdoing of another person.
NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are encouraged to continue contacting members of the Senate Law & Justice Committee urging them to oppose all anti-gun legislation that is being heard on Monday.