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As high-capacity magazine ban dies in Olympia, other gun bills advance

A high-capacity gun. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

The latest effort to ban so-called “high-capacity” magazines in our state has failed in Olympia.

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A pair of bill requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson that would have banned the magazines failed to get votes before a deadline this week, and are considered dead for this legislative session.

In the Senate, SB 5062 would have made it illegal to possess magazines with 10 or more rounds while the House version, HB 1068, would have banned magazines with 15 or more rounds.

Dave Workman with the The Gun Mag said this was a win for the gun rights community, especially since most handguns come with magazines that hold ten or more rounds.

“That just was a bad idea from the beginning, there are hundreds of thousands, millions of those things out there floating around and to criminalize those things — to turn them into contraband — just made no sense at all,” Workman said.

The Attorney General was disappointed, but stressed he will continue to push for the law.

“While we’re pleased that the House of Representatives passed our ban on 3D-printed ghost guns with bipartisan support, we’re disappointed that neither body took action on common-sense restrictions on magazine capacity. Our vote count showed us one vote short in the Senate, so we’re not surprised they did not bring it to the floor,” Ferguson said, adding he would work with the bill sponsors to get this introduced again next year.

The proposal was also part an aggressive gun safety agenda from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. The group’s Tallman Trask says they’re disappointed it didn’t have the support to pass this time around.

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“But I think it’s really important to remember, at least from our perspective, that we’re in a place right now where we’ve got more bills still alive at this point in the legislative session than we’ve had since my time started at the Alliance in 2014,” Trask said.

“We still have nine bills that have passed chamber that we’re supporting which is a big change from what we’ve seen in the past where we’ve really only got five or five bills to get a hearing,” Trask added.

Gun safety bills still alive

Among those nine gun safety bills still moving through the Legislature:

HB 1225, which would require cops to remove guns and ammo from a home when they respond to a domestic violence call and have probable cause to believe a crime was committed and get consent from someone in the home.

HB 1465, which would require gun dealers to run a state background check on buyers with a concealed pistol license, prohibiting them from just handing over the gun buyer has a CPL and has presumably already passed a background check. This could mean CPL holders have to wait 10 days to get their gun instead of getting it immediately, as they can now.

HB 1786, which makes changes to when police are required to remove guns under protection orders.

HB 1739, a ban on so-called ghost guns – undetectable and untraceable firearms that can be made with a 3D printer.

SB 5181, which suspends a person’s gun rights for six months when they’re admitted for a 72-hour involuntary mental health evaluation.

SB 5434, which makes daycare and child care facilities in the state gun-free zones just like K-12 schools.

SB 5027, which expands the state’s Red Flag or Extreme Risk Protection Order law to clarify it can also apply to minors. This would allow judges to also use the orders — which allow courts to temporarily suspend a person’s gun rights for up to one year at a time when they are in mental health crisis or exhibit dangerous, threatening or suicidal behavior — against minors. In the case of ERPOs against minors, police would have to inform the parents that any guns in the home had to be safely stored.

“I think our top priorities right now are the domestic violence bill that makes it easier for law enforcement to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident, as well as the ghost guns – the undetectable and untraceable firearms bill. Both of them got bi-partisan support in the House,” Trask said.

“I wouldn’t say I’m hopeful yet, but I’m cautiously optimistic,” Trask added.

Other bills considered dead this session include a proposal that would have required training for CPLs and one to expand Extreme Risk Protection Orders to hate crimes.

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