5078-S AMS FORT S2096.1
SSB 5078 - S AMD 148
By Senator Fortunato
NOT ADOPTED 03/02/2023
Beginning on page 1, line 13, strike all of section 1 and insert the following:
"NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature finds that the firearms industry supports environmental and conservation issues important to all Washingtonians. In 2021, the firearms industry produced an economic output of over $1.3 million for the state of Washington and employed over 8,000 people. The legislature finds the likely outcome of this act is to eliminate that output and cause those jobs to leave this state for another state. By characterizing the firearms product industry as a public nuisance and exposing the industry to suit by the attorney general for any wrongdoing that could possibly result from potential misuse of a firearm and any accessories, the economic value of the industry becomes compromised. This creates a situation where 8,000 people will potentially experience unemployment. The legislature finds that firearms industry members will be prevented from producing a lawful product that can be used in an irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful way. By declaring the production of a lawful product to be a public nuisance, the industry is forced to take on the liability of criminals and individuals who operate with a complete disrespect for the rule of law. In spite of protections that the legislature has instituted, unlawful trafficking of firearms persists and criminals continue to illegally and unlawfully use these products in a harmful way. Much like holding the makers of certain chemicals liable for a drug epidemic, holding a manufacturer and lawful distributor liable for a third party's misuse and unlawful use of a product is a dangerous extension of an important tool. Because of vagueness in the elements of the law, and a lack of specific, concrete direction for firearms industry members regarding the meaning of reasonable procedures and controls, this act exposes the entire industry to open ended, irreparable, and costly harm through an unprecedented and unsupportable extension of public nuisance law. The legislature finds that the purpose of this act is to prevent the sale of lawful firearms to citizens of Washington state under the guise of promoting public safety."
EFFECT: Amends the intent section to include information on the economic output and employment of the firearms industry in Washington.
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