SENATE BILL NO. 5853



                                                                            C 231 L 89



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Senators Pullen, Talmadge, McCaslin, Rasmussen, Thorsness, Hayner, Nelson and Cantu



Read first time 2/10/89 and referred to Committee on  Law & Justice.



AN ACT Relating to penalties for discharging a machine gun or threatening or menacing with a machine gun, when such discharging, threatening, or menacing is in the commission or furtherance of a felony other than a violation of RCW 9.41.190; amending RCW 9.41.200; adding a new section to chapter 9.41 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature is concerned about the increasing number of drug dealers, gang members, and other dangerous criminals who are increasingly being found in possession of machine guns.  The legislature recognizes that possession of machine guns by dangerous criminals represents a serious threat to law enforcement officers and the general public.  The use of a machine gun in furtherance of a felony is a particularly heinous crime because of the potential for great harm or death to a large number of people.  It is the intent of the legislature to protect the public safety by deterring the illegal use of machine guns in the furtherance of a felony by creating a separate offense with severe penalties for such use of a machine gun.


        Sec. 2.  Section 2, chapter  64, Laws of 1933 and RCW 9.41.200 are each amended to read as follows:

          For the purpose of RCW 9.41.190 through ((9.41.220)) section 3 of this act, a machine gun is defined as any firearm or weapon known as a machine gun, mechanical rifle, submachine gun, and/or any other weapon, mechanism, or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a reservoir clip, disc, drum, belt, or other separable mechanical device for storing, carrying, or supplying ammunition which can be loaded into such weapon, mechanism, or instrument, and fired therefrom at the rate of five or more shots per second.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW to read as follows:

          It is unlawful for a person, in the commission or furtherance of a felony other than a violation of RCW 9.41.190, to discharge a machine gun or to menace or threaten with a machine gun, another person.  A violation of this section shall be punished as a class A felony under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

                                                                                                                           Passed the Senate March 8, 1989.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.


                                                                                                                           Passed the House April 14, 1989.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.