Proposed ‘assault weapon’ ban in Washington state

I posted a little something on it yesterday and last month I told you why it is DOA. But I’ve been getting email (thanks Carl and Barron) and I decided to dig into it a little bit more.

From the bill itself (emphasis mine):

(20) “Assault weapon” means:

8 (a) Any semiautomatic pistol or semiautomatic or pump-action rifle

9 or shotgun that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine, with a

10 capacity to accept more then ten rounds of ammunition and that also

11 possesses any of the following:

12 (i) If the firearm is a rifle or shotgun, a pistol grip located

13 rear of the trigger;

14 (ii) If the firearm is a rifle or shotgun, a stock in any

15 configuration, including but not limited to a thumbhole stock, a

16 folding stock or a telescoping stock, that allows the bearer of the

17 firearm to grasp the firearm with the trigger hand such that the web of

18 the trigger hand, between the thumb and forefinger, can be placed below

19 the top of the external portion of the trigger during firing;

20 (iii) If the firearm is a pistol, a shoulder stock of any type or

21 configuration, including but not limited to a folding stock or a

22 telescoping stock;

23 (iv) A barrel shroud;

24 (v) A muzzle brake or muzzle compensator;

25 (vi) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that

26 can be held by the hand that is not the trigger hand;

27 (b) Any pistol that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine

28 at any location outside of the pistol grip;

29 (c) Any semiautomatic pistol, any semiautomatic, center-fire rifle,

30 or any shotgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept

31 more than ten rounds of ammunition;

32 (d) Any shotgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine;

33 (e) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder;

34 (f) Any conversion kit or other combination of parts from which an

35 assault weapon can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or

36 under the control of any person.

37 (21) “Detachable magazine” means a magazine, the function of which

is to deliver one or more ammunition cartridges into the firing

2 chamber, which can be removed from the firearm without the use of any

3 tool, including a bullet or ammunition cartridge.

4 (22) “Barrel shroud” means a covering, other than a slide, that is

5 attached to, or that substantially or completely encircles, the barrel

6 of a firearm and that allows the bearer of the firearm to hold the

7 barrel with the nonshooting hand while firing the firearm, without

8 burning that hand, except that the term does not include an extension

9 of the stock along the bottom of the barrel that does not substantially

10 or completely encircle the barrel.

11 (23) “Muzzle brake” means a device attached to the muzzle of a

12 weapon that utilizes escaping gas to reduce recoil.

13 (24) “Muzzle compensator” means a device attached to the muzzle of

14 a weapon that utilizes escaping gas to control muzzle movement.

15 (25) “Conversion kit” means any part or combination of parts

16 designed and intended for use in converting a firearm into an assault

17 weapon.

Notice that some pump action guns are considered “assault weapons” by these bigots.

Notice that the firearm has to have a detachable magazine and any of the evil characteristics. In the 1994 Federal AWB it had to have two of the additional characterisitics.

Notice that muzzle breaks and compensators are considered evil enough to make a firearm an AW. That would appear to make all Glock “C” models outlawed under this proposal.

And people like Dennis Henigan (Lethal Logic chapter 3) claim there is no slippery slope.

The line about “any tool, including a bullet or cartridge” appears to be in severe need of rewriting. I can’t make sense of it as it stands. I’m sure the Seattle bigots heard the California bigots whining about the manufactures making “California legal” firearms with a receiver that allows the magazine can be removed with a cartrige used as tool and hence complies with the law. I guess they didn’t hear about the ring worn on your finger than does the same thing.

Also of note is that the grandfathering of existing ownership is more than little harsh:

16 (5) In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was

17 legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person

18 possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:

19 (a) Safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of

20 the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to

21 ensure compliance with this subsection;

22 (b) Possess the assault weapon only on property owned or

23 immediately controlled by the person, or while engaged in the legal use

24 of the assault weapon at a duly licensed firing range, or while

25 traveling to or from either of these locations for the purpose of

26 engaging in the legal use of the assault weapon, provided that the

27 assault weapon is stored unloaded and in a separate locked container

28 during transport.

So in order to exercise your specific enumerate right to keep bear firearms in common use (most of my firearms would be illegal by this definition) you have to allow the sheriff to annually inspect your firearm storage–with no guidance on what is considered “safely and securely”.

A person would not be allowed to transport the firearm under any number of important situations such as to the gunsmith, a hunting trip, out of state for sale or as a gift. Let alone carry one on a daily basis as I do.

And what is it with “duly licensed firing range”? A search of the Washington State Department of Licensing website turned up nothing.

Also note that a couple of the bigots who proposed the law wrote an error filled opinion piece in the Everett Herald.

As other have said–we win because the other side is stupid. They are apparently nearly completely blinded by their own bigotry. But isn’t that nearly always the case with bigots?


8 thoughts on “Proposed ‘assault weapon’ ban in Washington state

  1. So my deer rifle is an assault weapon. Browning A-Bolt in .270 Win, with a 4-rd magazine and their BOSS. (See for a picture of one with the BOSS; mine doesn’t have the thumbhole stock but does have the gizmo at the end of the barrel.) Well, my BOSS is ported, making it a muzzle brake.

    So my—otherwise very traditional—.270 deer rifle is planned to be an assault weapon?

    — John.

  2. Pretty much what Kline et al. have been pushing for at least a decade. I guess there is some “model legislation” they are copying, the last one I carefully read (3 gen ago) was incompetent (legal and engineering meanings).

    John, are there >10 round mags available for your Browning?

  3. Whups, missed the “and” between ten-rounder and “one or more of the following.” Not that it matters directly, since I live outside of WA, but I just thought the law was ridiculous if it banned such a firearm.

    I hope it does indeed die as you believe it will; that’s pretty onerous.

  4. Easy solution… we just need to start making all firearms with the grip *in front of* the trigger… then you could have a 50 round magazine and it would be OK… awkward, but OK. Jackholes.

  5. any word on how they define “Barrel Shroud”, if they use the HR 1022 definition (the Shoulder thing that goes up) it would essentially mean ANY forearm on ANY rifle. SO if you have a semi-auto rifle that eats from a removable mag, look no further, as that piece of furniture your support hand holds it by is an honest-to-god barrel shroud.

    I guess “Sportsman” burn their hands when they shoot.

  6. Weer’d,

    Look closely above. They define shroud in the text I quoted.

    It has to “substantially enclose” the barrel.

    That would be likely be struck as unconditionally vague even if the rest of the bill was not.

  7. “I hope it does indeed die as you believe it will; that’s pretty onerous.”

    Well, _something_ is going to die. It will be better for all involved if it is the bill.

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