High-Capacity Magazine Ban Takes Effect Friday In Washington

OLYMPIA, WA — Beginning Friday, Washington gun owners will no longer be able to purchase magazines with a capacity for more than 10 rounds as a law passed by state lawmakers in March takes effect July 1.

The legislature voted 55-42 in favor of the ban near the end of this year’s session, moving to bar sales, attempted sales, and distribution of all high-capacity gun magazines. Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested such legislation every session since 2016 and the law drew support from several groups including the Washington State Medical Association.

“For too long we have accepted gun violence as an inevitable part of life,” said Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) in March. “My own community was impacted by gun violence in 2016, when three young lives were lost due to a mass shooting. Today, the Legislature took long overdue action to protect families across Washington from that harm by restricting the sale of high-capacity magazines. This is a commonsense policy that will save lives, and I am grateful for all of the years of advocacy that led to its passage.”

While the law prohibits gun shops from importing, manufacturing, and selling high-capacity magazines, it does not outlaw owning them. As The Seattle Times reported earlier this month, gun sellers around the region said news of the pending restrictions kicked off a frenzy of purchases before the law took effect.

The Second Amendment Foundation and other organizations also filed a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction to block the law on constitutional grounds, but the Associated Press reports a hearing has yet to be scheduled. Washington is one of ten states with magazine size restrictions on the books, and federal courts have upheld previous challenges to similar bans.

Source: Bellevue Patch