Proposed bill would ban sale of semi-automatic rifles to people under 21

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- On the first day of the 2017 regular session in Olympia, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson released the details of two proposed bills targeting semi-automatic rifles – one a watered-down version of a proposal to ban such guns outright.

Under the first proposal, the sale of semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines would be prohibited. Those who already own such weapons would be allowed to keep them.

For a definition of exactly which weapons would be prohibited, you can read the text of the proposal here.

Ferguson also presented an alternative bill, expressing doubt that the first proposal would pass.

“I believe a ban on the sale of assault weapons is the right policy for Washington, and I will keep fighting for that,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I’ve said from the beginning that it would be an uphill battle. My alternative represents meaningful reform that will enhance public safety now.”

Under the second proposed bill, persons under the age of 21 would not be allowed to purchase semi-automatic rifles or magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. It would also enhance background checks on those over the age of 21 hoping to purchase such firearms.

You can read the second proposed bill in its entirety, here.

Ferguson’s first proposal has received support from the father of Will Kramer, one of the surviving victims of the shooting at a Mukilteo house party last year that claimed three lives. The shooter, Allen Ivanov, 19, carried out the massacre with an AR-15 rifle he purchased legally.

“It is my hope that we can make Washington state safer and reduce the potential for mass shootings here,” Paul Kramer, Will’s father, said in a statement. “If our current political leadership doesn’t have the will to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons, I would support the assault weapons enhanced background check bill as an incremental step towards increasing public safety and reducing gun violence.”