Large magazines, ghost guns, open carry restrictions on 2022 gun safety agenda

Dec 20, 2021, 2:09 PM
gun safety...
A demonstrator stands with a flag and a gun during a Second Amendment rally at the Washington State Capitol in March 2021 in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Gun safety advocates will take another shot at passing a ban on so-called high capacity magazines in the upcoming session.

Report confirms uptick in shootings across King County, Seattle

For the fourth attempt, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is hoping some slight changes in the make-up of the legislature can make the difference and get it across the finish line.

“Washington saw record-breaking levels of gun violence in 2020, and initial data suggests that 2021 has been worse. While high-profile mass shootings slowed during the pandemic, everyday gun violence in the form of community violence, domestic violence, and suicide persisted,” reads the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s legislative priorities statement. “The communities hardest hit by the pandemic, chiefly BIPOC and low-income communities, have also been hit hardest by the surge in gun violence. In the face of this continued violence, bold action and meaningful investments in gun violence prevention from the Washington State Legislature are urgently needed.”

With shootings, especially in King County, up dramatically over the past two years, Renee Hopkins at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility says it’s more important than ever for the legislature to act.

The magazine ban tops that list. The proposed legislation would ban magazines with more than 10 rounds.

“As we have said many times over, high-capacity magazines turn deadly situations into even more deadly situations and are definitely linked to more people being killed in an incident than when high-capacity magazines are not used,” Hopkins said.

There is significant disagreement over that and an effort to ban what gun rights advocates argue are standard magazines.

“The notion that they want to ban original capacity magazines is kind of silly. It puts the onus and blames a cartridge magazine, which is a piece of equipment, for the bad deeds of somebody out there committing a crime,” said Dave Workman, author at TheGunMag. “I think more emphasis needs to be placed on punishing the guilty party, instead of penalizing a couple of million law abiding citizens in Washington state who may have this piece of equipment the alliance doesn’t like. They’re just going to have to get over that and, besides, remember this too: We’ve got a Democrat controlled legislature. This didn’t get through the Democrat controlled legislature.”

Hopkins says the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is also taking aim at more restrictions on ghost guns, or untraceable weapons, and what counts within that definition.

“We know across the country, and we’re also seeing it in Washington state, that many more untraceable, homemade firearms — not the 3-D printed ones — we’re talking about homemade firearms that you can basically order parts off the internet and they do not have serial numbers, and they can be put together into fully functional firearms,” Hopkins explained. “And those are showing up a lot more in many different types of crime, including, but not limited to, domestic violence. So this was a really high priority for us this year.”

But once again, gun enthusiasts were critical.

“For them to start legislating against what is essentially a hobby with most people is kind of silly. Now, what is a ghost gun? Is that a gun where the serial number has been ground off? Is that a firearm that somebody has installed a replacement plastic, the lower receiver, inside of which is the firing mechanism, and the firing mechanism has to have a serial number? They just don’t take the things apart. So we’ve got to be really careful about this one,” Workman said.

“Again, I don’t think you should be penalizing the home gunsmith who likes to put together a firearm for his own personal use or maybe to have it for his son or his family or something,” he added.

Much of the agenda from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is similar to years past, including the priority to expand restrictions won last session on Washington’s open carry law. Under the new bill, it would also bar the open carry of firearms at public meetings – such as city council or school board meetings that have gotten pretty volatile in recent months, as well as at election polling centers.

“There are a number of different bills that will be considered regarding the open carrying of firearms and politically charged, contentious environments,” Hopkins said. “We know that does greatly increase the possibility of deadly violence. And it really can have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights, and just access to democracy and the democratic process. So we will be looking to continue our focus on protecting individual’s First Amendment rights.”

Hopkins says the group is also pushing to get the governor’s proposal for $1 million in funding for educational and community gun violence prevention effort upped to $15 million, and focus on the implementation of police accountability legislation passed last session.

State leaders ‘disappointed’ to see assault weapons ban stall out again in 2021

But the priority for Hopkins remains the passage of the high-capacity magazine ban.

“There’s absolutely no reason that the state legislature cannot and should not pass this, this year,” she said. “We have seen during the pandemic, not as many high-profile mass shootings, but mass shootings have still been up dramatically during the pandemic. And we know this is a policy that can have an impact on reducing deaths in those situations.”

Hopkins also suggested that the arrival of John Lovick in the state Senate could be the shift that makes the difference in the vote.

Read more on the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s 2022 agenda here. Some of the policies have already emerged in pre-filed bills here, and here.

Local News

Lynnwood Clinic...
L.B. Gilbert

Lynnwood opioid clinic receives DOH license amid controversy

The Washington DOH just gave the final approval for a proposed opioid treatment clinic to open in Lynnwood.
10 hours ago
Judge, pot shop robbery...
Lisa Brooks

WA Corrections pays $600K settlement in sexual harassment lawsuit

Washington's Corrections Department has agreed to pay $600,000 dollars to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former intern.
10 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

‘A double life’: Skagit County pastor accused of dealing drugs, money laundering

A Skagit County pastor who “admitted he leads a double life” was arrested in January with nearly three pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine
10 hours ago
A shopper checks out an item in a Target store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, t...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
10 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Western Washington Gets Real: Pacific Northwest native wowing the opera world

Her astonishing voice has been heard around the world, but it was discovered and nurtured right here in the Pacific Northwest.
10 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

Seattle attorney representing 737 MAX victims’ families weighs in on Boeing arraignment

An attorney representing 50 of the families of victims of the Boeing 737 MAX crashes gives his take on the fraud charge against Boeing.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Large magazines, ghost guns, open carry restrictions on 2022 gun safety agenda