MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Customers flock to gun stores as WA assault weapons ban nears

Apr 13, 2023, 11:54 AM | Updated: Apr 14, 2023, 1:25 pm

assault weapons ban...

Governor Inslee passed a ban on the sale and manufacture of all assault weapons Tuesday. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Local gun stores are reporting their sales are surging as an assault weapons ban is expected to be signed by Governor Jay Inslee as soon as Thursday. The bill was first introduced by Rep. Strom Peterson (D-21) at the request of both Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

“The intent of the law was so vague that I think a lot of people don’t have any idea what he’s really trying to do in all honesty,” Nick, a customer at Pantel Tactical, told KIRO Newsradio. “For the past few weeks it’s been chaos as we get closer to the deadline. It’s going to get busier and busier.”

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The Washington state Senate passed a bill April 10 to ban the sale and manufacture of assault weapons. If passed, Washington would become one of the first states in the country to implement a ban on assault weapons.

Currently, nine states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York) have laws that ban the sale, manufacture, and transfer of assault weapons. The District of Columbia also has similar legislation in place.

“That’s going to give responsible gun owners the lack of being able to do what they love to do and own what they should be able to own,” Nick continued.

The bill has an emergency clause meaning it would take effect immediately if signed by Inslee. The ban would spread across more than 60 different types of assault weapons including AR-15s, AK-47s, Uzi 9 mm carbines, M16s, and some semi-automatic shotguns.

“And that’s what people are worried about is if I buy it now is it going to clear in time,” said Diana Pinto, owner of a pawn shop in Renton.

Police pursuit bill passes House despite some reluctance

Republican legislators added a few amendments to the bill in the Senate, including allowing gun dealers a window of time — 90 days — to remove their existing inventory.

Kate Stone contributed to this report

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Customers flock to gun stores as WA assault weapons ban nears