Large-capacity magazine ban headlines a string of victories for state gun safety advocates

Gun safety advocates won a string of victories in the 2022 legislative session in Washington, ranging from long-sought restrictions on high-capacity magazines to limitations on the open carry of firearms.

Perhaps more importantly, state lawmakers approved SB 5078, making it a serious offense to manufacture, distribute, sell, and offer for sale magazines over 10 rounds. Under the legislation, distributing, selling, offering for sale, and facilitating the sale of high-capacity magazines online is also a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

The bill was heralded by supporters as a necessary means to address the prevalence of high-capacity magazines in mass shootings. This comes after years of similar proposals on the legislative agenda, only to fail with each attempt before 2022.

Gun safety advocates push Olympia over high-capacity magazines

“It is high time our state acted to reduce the threat of mass shootings in our communities,” Democratic Senator Marko Liias said shortly after the bill was approved by the State House by a vote of 55. vote against 42.

This session was also adopted HB 1630, which prohibits the carrying of firearms in the open on school grounds, as well as at formal school board meetings. It also enacts an identical open carry ban for local government buildings, as well as counting centers and election facilities.

“This bill is about public safety and access to democracy,” Democratic State Rep. Tana Senn said after it passed. approved at the State House. “Guns have no place at school board meetings, ballot counting locations or local council meetings.”

Rounding out a trio of legislative victories for gun safety advocates, HB 1705, which filled a loophole in restrictions on so-called ghost weapons. In practice, the bill completely restricts the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession and purchase of untraceable and serialized firearms. The state had previously passed a broader ban on ghost weapons in a previous session, but expanded it with HB 1705 to also retroactively make ghost weapons built after 2019 illegal, while prohibiting the possession of certain components used for build untraceable guns.

Proponents of the bill cited the need to close “a deadly loophole” in Washington’s previous restrictions.

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