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Urgent: Legislation to Ban Long Gun Purchases by Law-Abiding Adults to be Heard in Olympia

Friday, February 23, 2018

Urgent: Legislation to Ban Long Gun Purchases by Law-Abiding Adults to be Heard in Olympia

Today, anti-gun legislators in Olympia have submitted Senate Bill 6620 just two weeks before the end of the current session.  SB 6620 includes provisions that would raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun to 21 years of age and would also establish a 10 day waiting period.  SB 6620 has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee and can be heard as early as 9:00AM tomorrow.  Please use the “Take Action” button below to contact committee members and your state Senator and urge them to remove the anti-gun provisions in SB 6620!  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact committee members and your state Senator.

Senate Bill 6620, sponsored by Senator David Frockt (D-46), would raise the minimum purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in the State of Washington from 18 to 21 years of age based on cosmetic features.  Federal Law already prohibits adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer.  Legislative proposals to prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring modern semi-automatic rifles or shotguns would deny them access to the most modern and effective rifles for self-defense, thus depriving them of their constitutional rights.  

This legislation attempts to brand these firearms as having “tactical features” to drum up unnecessary fear of their ownership.  In reality, these firearms are only being defined by aesthetic features that in no way affect the functionality of the rifle.  Semi-automatic firearms only fire one shot per action of the trigger, and such technology has been available to American consumers for over a century.  Semi-automatic firearms are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for various purposes such as self-defense, recreation, competition, and hunting.

SB 6620 would also establish what amounts to a 10-day waiting period for transfers of these firearms by requiring that they go through the state background check like handguns rather than the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that are currently used for all long gun transactions.  While federal law allows for such transactions to be completed if three days have elapsed from the time of the "delayed" response, the state check requires a wait of ten days in such a scenario.

We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms.  Passing a law such as this punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals.  The NRA supports efforts to prevent those who are a danger to themselves or others from getting access to firearms.  At the same time, we will continue to oppose gun control measures that only serve to punish law-abiding citizens.  These are not mutually exclusive or unachievable goals.  

In addition, the Washington state House of Representatives voted 56-41 to pass Senate Bill 5992 to ban bump-fire stock attachments.  An amendment was added on the House floor to provide compensation to those who surrender these accessories to state authorities.  Unfortunately, other amendments were defeated 48-49, such as one that would have required a study to be done regarding whether bump-fire stock attachments are used in crime.  SB 5992 will now go back to the state Senate for a concurrence vote.

Again, please contact committee members and your state Senator urging them to remove the anti-gun provisions in Senate Bill 6620!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.