by Bronson Winslow
Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson held a press conference Monday to announce three new measures for the upcoming 2023 legislative session that aims to curb gun violence in the state.
The measures would ban assault style weapons, hold manufacturers and retailers accountable for gun sales and implement a permit-to-purchase requirement for all gun buyers, according to a press conference. Inslee cited an increase in gun violence as the reason for the new legislation, and believes the laws, along with mental health assistance, will curb gun violence in Washington.
“We know we can act. We know we should act. And we know we will act in this session of the legislature. And the reason is, Washingtonians demand assertive, effective and protective gun safety laws. We intend in this session of the legislature to give Washingtonians assertive, effective and protective laws to protect them and their children against this epidemic of gun violence,” Inslee said.
“You need to get a license to drive a car in the state of Washington. You need to get a license to go fishing. It’s time you get a license to make sure you have safety training to purchase a gun in the state of Washington, and it’s high time that we pass a bill to make sure you get a permit before you get a firearm,” Inslee said.
Last year, over 800 Washington residents were killed as the result of gun violence, and 23 residents were killed just last month, according to Inslee.
Seattle, Washington, recorded 53 homicides in 2020, a 25-year record, and numbers only slightly dropped to 42 homicides in 2021. This year, as of November, 27 homicides were recorded in Seattle.
In King County, 256 people had survived gunshot wounds as of September, and 70 people had died, according to The Seattle Times. Of the deaths, 27 were between July and September.
The first measure would ban the sale, manufacture and import of so-called assault weapons in Washington, but will not affect those who already own assault weapons, law enforcement and military, according to the press conference. Inslee referred to assault weapons as “weapons of war,” saying, “there are no legitimate reasons for them in our society.”
The assault weapon ban measure is sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Patty Kuderer and state Rep. Strom Peterson.
The second measure would address weapons manufacturers, allowing them to be held liable if they fail to responsibly control the manufacture, sale, distribution and marketing of firearms, according to the press conference. The legislation would also allow victims to seek justice when manufacturers fail to keep firearms away from “dangerous individuals.”
“There is nothing normal about the violence that we are accepting in our society, in our communities and in our schools. We have a responsibility to act, and we are going to continue to act this session. I am proud to be working with the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office on the liability bill that will say gun manufacturers and retailers have to accept responsibility for these dangerous products that they sell,” Democratic state Sen. Jamie Pedersen said during the press conference.
The gun manufacturer and retailer liability measure is sponsored by Pedersen and Democratic state Rep. David Hackney.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee hold a press conference today at 10am in Seattle to discuss a group of bills for the upcoming legislative session to combat gun violence.
— TVW (@TVWnews) December 19, 2022
Following the press conference, Republican state Rep. Jim Walsh criticized the announcement, saying it is a waste of taxpayer time and money.
“The biggest problem with the governor and state attorney general’s proposals is that they are a waste of taxpayers’ time and money. The U.S. Supreme Court, in its recent Bruen decision, has clearly ruled that state gun-control schemes like these are unconstitutional — and unlawful. They will eventually be overturned by federal courts,” Walsh said in a release.
Inslee, Ferguson, Pedersen and Hackney did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Bronson Winslow is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Jay Inslee” by Governor Jay Inslee. Photo “Bob Ferguson” by Washington State Office of the Attorney General. Background Photo “Washington State Capitol” by Joe Mabel. CC BY-SA 4.0.