Lynnwood embroiled in debate over WA assault weapon ban

Apr 7, 2023, 2:26 PM


Lynnwood City Council during an April 3 Work Session (Photo courtesy of City of Lynnwood)

(Photo courtesy of City of Lynnwood)

House Bill 1240 — which would prohibit the manufacture, import, distribution, sale, and attempted sale of assault weapons in Washington state — has become a point of contention amongst lawmakers throughout the state.

Most recently, Lynnwood City Councilmember George Hurst came out in support of the proposed ban.

“You lose track of all these mass shootings,” Hurst said, according to KIRO 7. “But after Nashville, I had to do something. I had to do something personally.”

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“I was very surprised that this type of an issue was brought to the Lynnwood City Council,” Lynnwood City Councilmember Patrick Decker said on The Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH in response to his colleague’s comments. “It’s really not in character for the types of issues that I know our community wants to focus on. And it really is going to end up being a distraction from important legislation and important progress that we need to make on some far more pressing issues.”

Last month, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) on behalf of Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee’s request, passed in the House in a 55-42 vote. It was the first time a proposal to ban assault weapons passed in a chamber of the Washington Legislature.

poll released last June, conducted by the Northwest Progressive Institute, found that 56% of Washington voters would support a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

“I can’t imagine everyone in Lynnwood supports the ban,” Rantz told Decker.

“No, I’ve had quite a few people reach out to me, they’re also very confused about why the Lynnwood City Council would want to send this type of message,” Decker said. “Lynnwood is a very moderate city. We aren’t very heavy on one side or the other of the political spectrum. But certainly, there are a lot of individuals in Lynnwood who come from a background where they understand the importance of being able to defend oneself and defend one’s family.”

Hurst planned earlier this week to vote on a resolution amongst the city council members to favor the statewide ban. Former city councilmember Ted Hickel agreed, calling upon the council to put forth a resolution condemning the sale of guns in the city, according to a Work Session on April 3.

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In the Work Session, Decker countered Hurst’s argument, stating, “taking guns away from law-abiding citizens does not lower crime” and claiming Washington state has the ninth-highest gun control rates in the nation, yet remains sixth in the country in mass shootings.

“I have a lot of respect for my fellow council members,” Decker said. “This is a good group, they do their homework, they give a lot of thought into these issues. And we’ll have a very substantive discussion on Monday, as this was actually brought before the council for consideration of actually passing this resolution. But I would be quite surprised, given the makeup of the city and the way that these council members do such a great job of representing the actual interests and views of the city, if this motion passed.”

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Lynnwood embroiled in debate over WA assault weapon ban