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Washington: Updates on Anti-Gun Bills

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Washington: Updates on Anti-Gun Bills

Three major anti-gun bills still remain active in the Legislature, while others are likely defeated for the session. The NRA provided testimony and strong, united opposition to these bills throughout the legislative process thus far.

Permit-to-Purchase, Mandatory Training, 10-day Waiting Period, Indefinite Transfer Delays, & Government Registry:

On February 23rd, the House Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 1143, with a “null and void” amendment requiring that funding must be appropriated in the budget, or the bill will fail. Please contact your state representatives and ask them to OPPOSE HB 1143.

House Bill 1143 denies law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment right to acquire firearms unless they obtain a government-issued permit. The permit is only valid for five years and to obtain the permit, the state requires completion of official, sanctioned firearms classroom and live fire training every five years. The live fire training will make it impractical, if not impossible for first-time firearm owners to complete the necessary training. It also imposes an arbitrary ten-day delay on prospective gun owners taking possession of their firearms and makes this delay longer or indefinite if the state fails to complete background check during that time. The state police will also maintain a database (registry) of gun owners and their personal data. 

Semi-Automatic Firearms Ban:

On January 30th, the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 1240. Its companion, Senate Bill 5265, failed to pass out of a policy committee by the legislative deadline and is dead for the session. HB 1240 can only proceed if the full House passes it by March 8thPlease contact your state representatives and ask them to OPPOSE HB 1240.

House Bill 1240, a so-called “assault weapons ban,” is a comprehensive ban on the future transferring, importing, and manufacturing of many semi-automatic firearms that law-abiding citizens commonly-own for self-defense, competition, and recreation. It bans enumerated firearm models on a list, that include shotguns, handguns and rifles. The ban includes semi-automatic rifles with an overall length of less than 30 inches, and any firearms with one or more proscribed features that exist on modern designs for making firearms more user-friendly, such as telescoping stocks meant to adjust the length of pull for users of different statures or wearing different clothing, muzzle brakes meant to reduce recoil, grips conducive to the natural angles of human wrists, and suppressors for hearing protection. In addition, it also bans spare parts and “combination[s] of parts” that can be used to assemble banned firearms, but on their own are simply pieces of plastic or metal.

Firearm Industry Liability:

On February 24th, the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed Senate Bill 5078, after amending the bill to remove the private right of action, but still allowing the Attorney General to bring these frivolous and flawed lawsuits. House Bill 1130, the House companion, is dead after failing to pass out of a policy committee by the legislative deadline. SB 5078 is currently in the Senate Rules Committee and can only proceed if the full Senate passes it by March 8thPlease contact your state senator and ask them to OPPOSE SB 5078.

Senate Bill 5078 aims to undermine the PLCAA and subject licensed firearm manufacturers and sellers to frivolous lawsuits brought to recover damages for the criminal misuse of their products. Protecting the firearms industry, like other lawful industries, is necessary because our legal system generally does not punish anyone for the criminal actions of others. This bill simply seeks to sue the firearms industry out of existence in the state of Washington. The firearms industry supplies thousands of jobs in Washington and the excise tax on the sale and purchase of firearms, ammunition, and accessories produces millions of dollars for conservation in our state from Pittman-Robertson funds. This bill will eliminate thousands of jobs and deprive the state of millions of dollars annually. Without the firearms industry, Washingtonians will not have access to firearms and ammunition and the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. 

Click here to contact your state lawmakers in order to ask them to OPPOSE these bills.

Thanks to your efforts, the anti-gun bills below are defeated. There is a potential for procedural moves to revive these bills, but your NRA will remain vigilant and will notify you if any future action is needed!

House Bill 1144 failed to pass out of the policy committee and Senate Bill 5232 failed to pass out of the fiscal committee by the legislative deadline. These bills would have denied citizens their Second Amendment rights unless they met a training mandate, imposed an arbitrary delay on prospective gun owners taking possession of their firearms, and created a registry of gun owners.

House Bill 1178 failed to pass out of the policy committee by the legislative deadline. It would have repealed Washington’s preemption statute and revoked the Legislature’s own authority to be the primary authority regulating firearms. This would have allowed localities to pass their own anti-gun ordinances and create a confusing patchwork of gun laws.

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox.


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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.