OLYMPIA – Legislation to limit the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee today.
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 law does not prohibit the current possession of high-capacity magazines.
“My community has experienced the tragedy of gun violence firsthand,” Liias said. “After a 2016 shooting killed three young people and left another seriously injured in Mukilteo, I vowed to do everything I could to prevent more families from experiencing this trauma. Today we are one step closer to that goal.”
The legislation was sponsored at the request of the Washington State Attorney General. It was first proposed six years ago in 2016.
“I am proud of our state for taking action to protect our neighbors from gun violence,” said Liias. “High-capacity magazines enable a shooter to fire more rounds without pausing to reload. With this law, we are allowing more time for folks to get out of dangerous situations and potentially saving lives.”
A 2019 study for the American Journal of Public Health concluded that bans on large-capacity magazines “appear to reduce both the incidence of, and number of people killed in, high-fatality mass shootings.” Another 2020 study found that laws banning high-capacity magazines are one of the “most effective gun policies for reducing fatal mass shootings.”
Washington now joins nine other states across the United States that restrict magazine capacity size. The law will go into effect July 1, 2022.