KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

G&U: WA gun laws make us safer, especially law enforcement

Apr 26, 2023, 1:35 PM | Updated: 1:53 pm

Gov. Inslee...

Gov. Jay Inslee signed three new gun bills into law on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Washington state’s new gun laws prohibit the future sale, distribution, manufacture, and import of more than 50 types of guns, including AR- and AK-style rifles. The measures do not bar the possession of weapons by people who already have them.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed the trio of bills Tuesday, one banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles, one imposing a 10-day waiting period on firearms purchases, and one clearing the way for lawsuits against gun makers or sellers in certain cases.

The sales ban drew a quick legal challenge from the Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, and the Firearms Policy Coalition, based in Sacramento. The groups sued in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday, saying the law violates the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

On the Gee & Ursula Show, guest host Mike Lewis asked Gee Scott if he thought the new laws would make the state safer.

“Yes, and the reason is not based on what’s happening right now or on what’s happened in the past,” Gee said. “My ‘yes’ is predicated on what can never happen in the future. We will never know what the non-sale of an AR-15 in this state would mean, right?

“We can’t go back and say, ‘If that person wasn’t allowed to purchase that AR-15 six days before, and he purchased it illegally, maybe some lives would have been saved.’ So the answer to that question is yes. Because sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.”

“It certainly can’t make it more dangerous by having the ban,” Lewis explained. “But I argued in the past, and we actually got a couple of law enforcement officers to jump in on the text line, that the issue has always been high-capacity magazines.

“I am not as concerned about the weapon type. But if you limit the number of bullets that can fire, you limit the end, you require a reload,” Mike continued. “Soon, after three shots or something like that, you actually give people a chance to escape. And because it’s always so fraught, trying to eliminate weapons in this country, even though I’m an advocate of gun control.”

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Gee explained that law enforcement officials weren’t always able to talk freely about the subject in public or on the radio.

“But let’s be real, this makes it safer for law enforcement, right? What law enforcement officer wants to go into a situation with just a bulletproof vest, knowing that there is the potential of an AR-15 that they’re having to face?”

Lewis said that limiting the capacity of magazines was exactly what he has heard from police officers.

“And you know who actually also can still purchase these weapons — law enforcement, right?” Lewis said. “So that is probably the way it always should have been, to begin with. Although this is a bell that is going to be impossible, I think to unring.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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G&U: WA gun laws make us safer, especially law enforcement