Washington State will become the 10th state to pass some form of AWB (Assault Weapons Ban), pending Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature, which he has promised to provide. HB1240 makes illegal the manufacture, sale, and import of weapons covered by the bill, which includes a list of 62 specific weapons, and their variants, from expected choices like AK’s and AR’s to some more unexpected ones, including the SKS and SVD, and even stuff you’ll probably find only on Forgotten Weapons, like the Australian Automatic series of firearms. There is also the usual laundry list of AWB cosmetic features (which they explicitly announce are, in fact, NOT cosmetic, because scary) like detachable magazines, pistol grips, etc. Unlike the 1992 federal AWB though, there is only an allowance for one such feature, vs 3, and the features extend to handguns. Currently owned firearms are grandfathered, but if they think that’s going to mollify WA gun owners, or Pro-2A legal groups like FPC, then they haven’t been paying attention.
These banned guns are “weapons of war”, which according to HB1240’s AWB are only useful for “…kill(ing) humans quickly and efficiently” and “…are not suitable for self-defense”, which makes one wonder why police are specifically exempted from this ban. Those same police, you’ll remember, who Gov. Inslee doesn’t trust to properly employ a chokehold, are now the only civilians in WA State who can own these apparent mass-murder machines.
While it’s certainly within the WA legislature’s power to enact any legislation it desires –AWB or otherwise– it’s also within the power of the citizenry via the court system to challenge any such bill, and we expect to see FPC and others filing lawsuits to do exactly that very soon. Given the SCOTUS precedents set by Heller and especially Bruen, we don’t expect the law to last, but lawsuits take time, and a whole lot of wasted tax dollars. We will unfortunately just have to wait and see.