Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today he plans ask the state legislature next year to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
In a press release, Ferguson cited the recent shooting in Mukilteo, where police say a 19-year-old shot four people, killing three of them, with an AR-15 and a 30-round magazine. Ferguson says an assault weapon ban "will save lives."
“The recent tragedy in Mukilteo drives home the need to act with urgency to end the availability of weapons designed with only one purpose—to kill people,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I have a duty to protect the public, as well as uphold the constitution. My proposal will ban some of the deadliest weapons, while respecting the Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
Ferguson's proposal would ban "semiautomatic weapons with military-style features that render them more easily concealable or more deadly" and limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. Ferguson's office says Democratic state senators David Frockt (Seattle) and Kevin Ranker (Orcas Island) are working with the attorney general to write the legislation, modeled after similar laws in New York and Connecticut.
According to the press release: "Unlike the bans in some other states, Ferguson’s proposal targets only sales, grandfathering current gun ownership. The legislation would not require registration of existing weapons."
In the wake of the Mukilteo shooting, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called on voters to support Initiative 1491, which would allow family members to petition courts for protection orders limiting gun access for loved ones who are a danger to themselves or others.