Washington State’s Dem Gov, Attorney General Propose Major Gun Control Measures

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.

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.




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10 Thoughts to “Washington State’s Dem Gov, Attorney General Propose Major Gun Control Measures”

  1. hal

    Gun ownership is a federal “right”…not a state “permission”. Any proposed laws that counter the constitutional origin of the “citizens right to own and bear arms” is doomed legislation.
    Washington’s Governor and AG are just playing a political game to convince the plebes that state government can subvert the US Constitution. When their legislation has failed in court, they will shrug and tell their voters…”We tried ” !!

  2. Mike Sammons

    Maybe they should have about the defending police movement a little bit closer. Let’s try keeping criminals off the streets and making them accountable for their crimes.

  3. Mark Collett

    Inslee and Ferguson need to realize that criminals break the law. Therefore infringing up on the rights of legitimate businesses and legal gun owners is not the answer. This legislation is similar to making spoon manufactures responsible for making people fat.

    1. HaroldA

      Exactly! It’s been proven time and time again. You take the personal defense weapons out of the law abiding citizen’s hands (a 2nd and 14th amendment violation), then you allow the real problem to be amplified! Criminals will have guns no matter what laws are enacted. The only difference is they then do not fear their victims are armed. Therefore violence and crime spiral…fact! Also if you think government is ever protecting you, or truly have your best interest in their best interest you’re sadly mistaken!

  4. David L RUSSELL

    The Supreme just this year made practises like this one in Washington UNCONSTITUTIONAL

  5. Rich

    For things to change the governor and AG need to focus on the perpetrators of gun violence. Quit treating criminals like victims. Stop the idiocy of no cash bail, and fire the spineless procecutors that refuse to abide the rule of law. What’s next? Will the governor hold auto manufacturers responsible for impaired drivers who maim and kill?

  6. Connie

    How is the state going to ensure that the gangs take gun safety and that they are not buying guns on the streets. That should be the first thing being worked on. The things you have put in place are easy, try putting in place something that is hard to do. And spend some money on something that will really make some sense for a change. Not only will it help get guns off the street it will help get rid of the gangs to some extents. It will make our state to hard for them to live in. Give our cops their authority back to do their jobs.

  7. Shawn brown

    Apparently Jay and Bob need to reread the United States constitution. Maybe when they are done reading, they can focus on real issues facing the state.

    1. Cate

      I’m not sure Inslee can read. He also is ignoring the state constitution in regard to a state income tax. Wish the voters in this state would give some one else a chance, who knows, things might improve.

  8. Katherine M White

    And the third and biggest measure should be to harshly punish those who are in possession of illegal guns. It is the criminals that they need to go after and not te people who are responsible gun owners.