OLYMPIA – Legislation to restrict the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines was approved by the Washington House of Representatives on a 55-42 vote Friday.
Senate Bill 5078, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett), prohibits the manufacture, sale, import or transfer of large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The approved legislation does not ban the current possession of a high-capacity magazine.
“Enough families have experienced the tragedy of gun violence in our state,” said Liias. “It is long overdue that we step up to protect Washingtonians from mass shootings. The Legislature took that step today by voting to limit high-capacity magazines, and our communities will be safer for it. This is a common-sense policy that will save lives, and I am grateful for all of the years of advocacy that led to its passage.”
“In our state, Mukilteo and Burlington have been traumatized by shootings involving high-capacity magazines. And we all know the far too many incidents that have occurred in other parts of our country,” said Rep. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle), who sponsored the House version of the legislation. “These magazines make mass shootings easier and fuel the tragic shootings that happen every day in our communities. I have been fighting for this policy for years and am proud to have been the House lead. It is long overdue that this historic and life-saving legislation is finally going to get to the governor’s desk.”
The legislation was introduced at the request of the Washington State Attorney General.
Nine states already restrict magazine capacity, and six of those states have a lower rate of gun violence than Washington, according to the state attorney general’s office. Data shows that the sale of high-capacity magazines is the single best predictor of mass shooting rates in a state.
After passing both chambers of the Legislature, the bill will now head to Gov. Inslee for approval. The 2022 session is scheduled to adjourn on March 10.