A semiautomatic assault rifle is defined in statute and means any rifle which uses a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge. A semiautomatic assault rifle does not include antique firearms, any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.
An assault weapon includes a list of 62 specific firearms or a copycat weapons, regardless of which company produced and manufactured the firearm. An assault weapon also includes a semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches, or a conversion kit, part, or combination of parts, from which an assault weapon can be assembled. An assault weapon does not include antique firearms, any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action, or a pistol that is not identified in the list of 62 firearms and is not a copycat weapon of the list of 62 firearms.
A copycat weapon means a semiautomatic, centerfire firearm that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and includes certain characteristics:
No person in this state may manufacture, possess, distribute, import, transfer, sell, offer for sale, purchase, or otherwise transfer any assault weapon. Exceptions are provided for:
For persons who legally possessed an assault weapon on the effective date of this section, certain restrictions apply. These persons may possess the weapon:
Violations are a class C felony.
Unless a person meets any of the described exceptions, it is unlawful to transport an assault weapon into Washington state.
A person who lawfully possessed, has a purchase order for, or completed an application to purchase an assault weapon before January 1, 2022, and who has registered the assault weapon with the Washington state patrol may continue to possess and transport the assault weapon.
PRO: Mass shootings have become routine in our society. Semi automatic rifles like the AR-15 are the weapon of choice in deadly mass shootings. They account for 32 percent of all mass shootings. They are designed to fire at a greater rate. Congress let the ban sunset. The tragedies will grow longer unless we do something. This bill is a close replica of the Maryland law upheld as constitutional by a federal court in the 3rd circuit. You can still use the weapon at a licensed firing range. Seven other states have limited the circumstances for access to these weapons.
This bill is targeted toward a weapon that causes extraordinary harm. Assault weapons are 11 times more likely to be used in mass shootings. They kill 65 percent more people than other weapons in mass shootings. Federal courts have been clear and consistent that this policy is constitutional because there is an important governmental interest in promoting public safety by curtailing sales of military style semi automatic weapons capable of accepting a high capacity magazine.
CON: This bill will negatively affect my life as a woman to defend myself and my right to choose a firearm. I am my own first responder. This bill makes it more difficult for marginalized, oppressed, and forgotten people to live safely in their homes and communities. History has shown that it is not in the interest of any Native American tribe to ever give up their guns again.
This bill will devastate businesses that manufacture and sell weapons affecting many jobs and the economy.
The seven states that have these bills still have mass shootings. As an African American I would more likely be prosecuted under this law than a white person. Anti gun laws have a racist reality and a racist history. Armed minorities are hard to oppress.