Washington state recently passed I-1639, a virtual smorgasbord of gun control measures that makes little sense. This includes the fact that an “assault weapon” ban went into effect January 1, but the definition of an “assault weapon” won’t change until July, making the ban effectively meaningless.
But the state isn’t done with anti-gun proposals, either. Not by a long shot (pun fully intended).
Following the November ballot that saw Washington state voters approve a sweeping gun control initiative, Democrats will be pushing for further regulation during the upcoming legislative session.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has released his legislative requests for the 2019 session, which include three provisions on gun regulation. These included restrictions on magazine size, banning the sale of assault-style weapons, and prohibiting untraceable guns and guns that cannot be detected by a metal detector. Democrats have already pre-filed bills in both the House and the Senate to address magazine size and untraceable guns.
Similar bills in Legislature are proposing to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines, which can hold more than 10 rounds. Standard magazines for rifles like the AR-15 or AK-47 often hold 30 rounds, while novelty magazines can hold up to 100 rounds. If the bills are passed, owners of high-capacity magazines will have their existing ones grandfathered in and will be allowed to keep them as long as they are locked up. Selling, buying, or even possessing high-capacity magazines could be a gross misdemeanor if the law is passed.
Bills in both chambers have also been filed by Democrats to ban untraceable guns, commonly known as “ghost guns.” These are firearms assembled from untraceable parts, often bought online, or by parts created with a 3D printer. Firearms would also be required to contain enough metal to register on a metal detector. The House bill defines an undetectable firearm as one that is made of polymer plastic and does not contain at least 3.7 ounces of steel or steel alloy.
No bills had been submitted as of Jan. 4 dealing with an assault-style weapons ban supported by the attorney general. Ferguson has been requesting a sales ban on assault-style weapons since at least 2017. The ban would bar the sale of weapons that use a telescoping stock, pistol grip, foregrip, high-capacity magazines, or muzzle attachments like a flash suppressor.
Why Ferguson wants an assault weapon ban when one was just passed by ballot initiative wasn’t mentioned.
Unfortunately, that’s not the biggest concern here. Like I said, one was already passed and will go into effect soon enough. That’s something to fight still, but it’s not the primary issue.
Instead, there are two significant assaults taking place. One is on standard capacity magazines and the other on homebuilt firearms.
The magazine capacity issue is a common effort by gun control advocates, but there’s no evidence to show that reducing magazine capacity has any appreciable impact on crime. None at all, and since the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutional right, the burden is on the government to justify any restrictions. It can’t. Ferguson just wants it because it checks the right gun control boxes.
The same is true over the ban on so-called “ghost guns.”
More importantly, though, is the fact that it’s unenforceable.
Less than 80 percent of complete receivers can be produced and shipped all over the nation, including to neighboring states. They can be purchased and transported across state lines, thus bypassing any ban. Further, someone knowledgeable enough can produce them even without a mostly finished receiver anyway.
Besides, the 3D printer files are already common enough on the internet that there’s no way to stop it, especially in a state like Washington. A 3D printer and some materials will make the ban less than useless.
But gun grabbers are gonna grab. That’s just what they do. It’s up to the people of Washington state to stop it before they become another California.