Attorney general urges state lawmakers to 'step up' on assault rifle ban

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State lawmakers are expected to consider a proposal to ban certain semi-automatic, military-style rifles and high-capacity magazines once the 2017 regular session gets underway on Monday.

The effort, led by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, will face steep opposition from gun rights advocates.

“A bill like this, that’s obviously controversial, is going to be uphill,” Ferguson said Tuesday during an appearance on “Q13 News This Morning.” “I just really felt strongly and feel strongly that I need to step up and legislators need to step up and be counted.”

Some have questioned the constitutionality of such a ban, with gun enthusiasts saying it would trample rights of law-abiding gun owners who enjoy using the weapons.

“While they may look menacing to some people, they’re actually used by millions of people for all kinds of purposes,” said Dave Workman, senor editor of TheGunMag and spokesperson for the Second Amendment Foundation. “(They’re used for) home defense, small game and predator hunting, and competition. So there are a lot of legitimate reasons to have a firearm like this. Just because it looks ugly doesn’t mean that we should go about banning it.”