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Republican legislator says Democrats should have debated gun magazines limit

Lynnwood gun shop owner Tiffany Teasdale poses for a photo with a semi-automatic rifle in Lynnwood, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A bill to limit gun magazines fizzled out on Wednesday when it failed to pass out of the House by the session deadline.

While gun control advocates blame the 120 amendments Republican legislators added to House Bill 2240 as the reason for its failure, Republican lawmakers say it was the Democrats’ fault for not coming to the debate table.

House Bill 2240 would have limited gun magazines to 15 rounds of ammunition.

“We have rules that say, constitutionally, we’re allowed to debate any type of items that come on the floor,” 26th Legislative District Rep. Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor) told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show. “So if you’re going to run a magazine ban or some Second Amendment type thing, it’s time to fight, … we dared the Democrats to debate us on it, and they chose not to do it.”

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Young added that the 120 amendments he and his Republican colleagues added to the bill were not a blocking tactic, but rather a compromise to make the bill less polarizing.

“If you really think that you’re right, argue it,” he said to the Democrats. “But they chose not to — they punted it.”

When it comes to the gun control debate, he does not only find fault with Democrats. Republicans, he said, are afraid to discuss the larger issue at hand because they don’t want to sound conspiratorial.

“People don’t want to talk about the fact that there is an agenda coming out of the Democrat caucus, … they have a general agenda, and that general agenda is to disarm us,” Young said.

Young recommends that people with a fearful or negative view of guns should first acquaint themselves with a responsible gun owner and take a look at the weapons. If you don’t know any gun owners, he suggests going to a shooting range and watching how careful firearm owners are with their guns.

“The type of safeguards that we do to adequately exercise this right is something that I think would instill a lot of confidence in people, if they were willing to get beyond the hyperbole and the rhetoric,” he said.

While working in tech in Silicon Valley, Young said he became friends with many immigrants from India and China. Coming from two countries with very strict firearm laws, they were both curious and uneasy around guns, so they asked Young if they could see the weapons he owned.

“I’ll walk them through just how much of a tool they really are, as opposed to some scary thing,” he said. “And it’s amazing how quickly — if you’re talking to somebody who hasn’t been indoctrinated into some sort of fear-mongering scenario — they go, ‘That’s no different than a regular tool that I might use to fix a cabinet.'”

To contact Rep. Young, visit the Legislative website or call the Legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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