A bill banning the sale of assault weapons passed the state House on Wednesday, clearing its way to the state Senate for consideration.
The passage of House Bill 1240 represents the first time a proposal to ban the sale of assault weapons has passed a chamber of the Washington Legislature. The bill prohibits the sale, manufacture and import of such weapons in the state while allowing certain exemptions for law enforcement and the military.
The legislation does not prohibit people from possessing assault weapons.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson first proposed a ban on the sale of assault weapons in 2017, following a deadly 2016 shooting at a Mukilteo house party in which the shooter used a military-style assault rifle and high-capacity magazine.
“The House today put public safety above the interest of the gun lobby,” Ferguson said. “The devastation of mass shootings extends far beyond the casualties and injuries. Mass shootings traumatize entire communities. We must stop selling these weapons of war in Washington.”
“Assault weapons have contributed to some of the deadliest shootings over the last decade, and keeping more of them out of our communities will make Washington a safer place,” Gov. Inslee said. “I applaud the bill sponsors and the Attorney General’s Office for helping advance this crucial public safety measure.”