AG Ferguson pushing for statewide ban on ‘assault weapon,’ high-capacity magazine sales

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday he's pushing for multiple gun control bills that advocates say will help prevent a mass shooting.

Ferguson cited the upcoming anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in 2012 where a gunman killed 20 children and a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio earlier this year that killed nine as the motivation for the proposal.

“It took just 32 seconds for an individual armed with a 100-round double-drum magazine and an AR-15-style weapon to shoot 36 people before he was killed by law enforcement,” Ferguson said. “That same rifle and magazine are perfectly legal to purchase in Washington state. That makes no sense. “

Ferguson has pushed for a ban on assault-style weapons in the past, but Gov. Jay Inslee will jointly request legislators to move forward with the bills for the first time.

The attorney general’s office defines an assault weapon as, “semi-automatic rifles with at least one military-style feature making the weapons easier to fire more accurately and rapidly than a typical hunting rifle.”

Other proposed measures include a limit on magazine capacities to 10 rounds and expanded background checks to prevent convicted felons, or others restricted from purchasing a firearm, from buying ammunition.

Washington already added enhanced background checks for semi-automatic assault rifles, a 10-day waiting period to purchase those weapons, and a requirement that gun owners safely store their firearms in July through I-1639.

Some say these new bills are not targeting the right people.

"You're not going to have any impact at all on criminals, because they don't buy guns and ammunition at retail outlets. That's not how bad guys get guns," said Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag and Liberty Park Press.

Gun store owners say these bills make it harder for local business owners to operate, not for bad guys to commit crimes.

"Why not prosecute the people who are actually causing the crimes? Why make more laws, if we're not going to reinforce the laws?" said Tiffany Teasdale, owner of Lynnwood Gun and Ammunition.