Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signs bill banning assault weapons: ‘No one needs an AR-15’

Gun Rights

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed a bill that bans the manufacture, purchase and import of assault-style weapons.

Insee said in a statement that a second piece of gun safety legislation would mandate safety training and a waiting period before purchasing a firearm. A third bill will “increases industry accountability and access to justice for gun violence victims and survivors,” according to the governor.

“These are three victories, not one, and it is clear why we need to take this action,” Inslee said before signing the bills into law.

“These weapons of war of assault weapons have no reason other than mass murder. Their only purpose is to kill humans as rapidly as possible in large numbers.”

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Washington becomes the 10th state to ban assault weapons.

“No one needs an AR-15 to protect your family,” Inslee said while surrounded by family members of shooting victims. “You only need it to kill other families.”


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs House Bill 1240, which prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of semi-automatic assault-style weapons
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill Tuesday banning semi-automatic assault-style weapons in the state.
AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee makes remarks at the podium before signing multiple bills meant to prevent gun violence,
Inslee makes remarks at the podium Tuesday before signing multiple bills meant to prevent gun violence.
AP

The law went into effect immediately after it was signed, according to KOMO. Gun shop owners now have 90 days to sell their inventory.

Nine other states including California, New York and Massachusetts have already passed similar bans, and the laws have been upheld as constitutional by the courts, according to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The other bills Inslee signed Tuesday make safety training and a 10-day waiting period mandatory before gun purchases while the third increases the accountability of gun manufacturers and dealers who knowingly sell guns to dangerous or irresponsible individuals.

The bill that requires safety training and a waiting period takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.


House Bill 1240, which prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of semi-automatic assault-style weapons
House Bill 1240, which prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of semi-automatic assault-style weapons.
AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to members of the media after signing multiple gun violence prevention bills
Inslee speaks Tuesday to members of the media after signing multiple gun violence prevention bills
AP

“We lead the country in so many ways, and we are leading on this,” Inslee said. “I’m not sure any state has ever taken three steps on one day.”

Almost immediately after Inslee signed the legislation, a lawsuit challenging the assault weapons ban was filed by the Second Amendment Foundation in US District Court for the Western District of Washington accusing lawmakers of violating the second amendment, Fox News reported.

“The state has put politics ahead of constitutional rights, and is penalizing law-abiding citizens while this legislation does nothing to arrest and prosecute criminals who misuse firearms in defiance of all existing gun control laws,” SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb said in a press release. “It is absurd.”

The NRA has also signaled opposition to two of the three bills as it continues to fight assault weapons bans in other states, according to Fox.

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