Washington State gun owners would be barred from purchasing ammunition magazines that can hold more than ten rounds under legislation approved by the Democratic-controlled state Senate late Wednesday. The 28-20 vote marks the first time that a magazine ban has been approved by a legislative chamber in the state, and it comes as Democrats like Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell are pushing for the legislature to prioritize a number of anti-2A bills before lawmakers leave Olympia one month from today.
Despite the Democratic dominance in the state legislature, SB 5078 isn’t guaranteed passage, so gun owners should not give up their contacts with their state representatives. It’s worth noting that the language of the bill (at least for the moment) doesn’t go as far as similar magazine bans approved in recent years in California and New Jersey, which not only barred the sale of “high capacity” magazines but their continued possession as well. As SB 5078 currently stands, the bill restricts the “manufacture, distribution, or sale” of the magazines, but not possession itself.
I think that’s by design, and a clear attempt to make the bill more politically palatable to both far-left Democrats who don’t want to see any more laws that put people in prison put on the books (the bill targets sellers and makers of magazines and not those found in possession of them) and more “moderate” Dems who can now tell voters they didn’t do anything to take away their magazines, while making it much more difficult for gun owners to acquire them in the future.
“This is a serious bill that will jeopardize the safety of Washingtonians,” Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, said during the debate.
“These are the regular magazines we see out there every day,” Fortunato said at another point.