WA Gun Owner Fury Erupts as Lawmakers Pass Magazine Ban

Washington State House Democrats pushed through a ban on full-capacity magazines in a late-night vote, igniting gun owner activism. (Dave Workman)

U.S.A.-( By a 55-42 dead-of-night vote, the Washington State House of Representatives has passed a ban on rifle and pistol magazines holding more than 10 cartridges (including magazines for rimfire rifles), causing outrage among Evergreen State grassroots activists who will be looking unseat as many Democrats as possible in the November 2022 election.

Senate Bill 5078 goes to the desk of anti-gun Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee, who has already vowed to sign it. Two Democrat House members—Reps. Kirsten Harris-Talley from Seattle and Steve Kirby from Tacoma—voted against the measure, breaking ranks from their majority Democrat colleagues.

The vote came about two weeks after Liberty Park Press published a revealing report about the ineffectiveness of magazine capacity limit that many readers sent to their state lawmakers.

The late-night Friday vote was hailed by anti-gun Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a tweet now posted at the Facebook page of the Washington 2022 Legislative Action Group. The legislation was introduced at Ferguson’s request by Democrat Sen. Marko Liias of Lynnwood.

“Today is the fulfillment of years of hard work from so many,” Ferguson wrote. “More than five years ago, I stood with the parents of shooting victims, legislators, mayors, police chiefs and representatives from faith communities to say enough is enough, and proposed banning the sale of high-capacity magazines in Washington state. Today, our Legislature chose public safety over the gun lobby, and I am deeply appreciative of their service. This policy will save lives and make our communities safer from gun violence.”

But Wade Gaughran, owner of a Bellevue gun range and firearms retail business, reacted bluntly, telling KING News, “There’s no way that an intelligent person is going to look at this law and see that it would stop or limit or change the of any kind of mass shooting.”

He predicted a surge in magazine purchasing, a notion reinforced by an announcement from at least one firm—Palmetto State Armory—announced it will prioritize orders from Washington State residents: “All magazine orders placed from Washington State with Palmetto State Armory with ship out immediately and receive priority over all other orders.”

Dan Mitchell, owner of Vancouver’s Sporting Systems, posted a “Fact Sheet” about the magazine ban, which included a depiction of the state flag with dictatorial overtones.

One activist member of the Legislative Action Group posted this message:

“The only group that can help us and that definitely will help us is the Second Amendment Foundation,” wrote Perry Singh. “They are responsible for all the lawsuits that are successful. We have a US Supreme Court that will side with us. We just need an organization that is serious about bringing lawsuits and there is no organization more serious than the Second Amendment Foundation. If you are not a member you need to join. These guys fund lawsuits and they’re really good at winning. No you won’t get a free duffel bag or a free hat but they will deliver us victories in court that we need badly.”

Another gun rights activist, Ron Fricks, responded with his own observation: “There are a lot of good organizations that support 2A rights. Perry is correct however, the Second Amendment Foundation is the best. They often work in the background, they may not get the press, but they are there getting stuff done. It is better to donate a dollar to them, then to post a million “we will not comply” post on facebook. There are over 600,000 permit holders in WA state. If each of them sent $1, or even better $10 per month to the organization of their choice, it would make a difference. Talk or act, the choice is yours.”

By no small coincidence, just hours before the House vote, SAF on Friday announced the launch of a national outreach effort to remind America’s gun owners that “Gun Rights Depend On You.”

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb estimated the message—which is already appearing online at the Washington Times, Breitbart, TownHall, Newsmax, BearingArms and Drudge—will reach millions of people. SAF tells gun owners to “Demand the Courts Protect the 2A.”

“It would be a significant step forward in our ongoing outreach effort to educate gun owners that the defense of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms ultimately rests in their hands,” Gottlieb said. “Right now, we have more than 30 active court cases challenging various gun control laws on Second Amendment grounds, in several states, including California, Washington, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. It is our intention to raise public awareness and grab the attention of various courts so these cases don’t end up gathering dust in some perpetual state of ‘pending’ action.”

A federal case challenging a similar ban in California is already seeking review from the U.S. Supreme Court. Nine states and Washington, D.C. have imposed such bans.

According to the Daily Olympian, violations of the new law “would result in a gross misdemeanor, which carries a maximum punishment of 364 days in jail and/or a fine up to $5,000.”

Gun owner reaction over the weekend was nothing short of fury. One gun owner posting at the Legislative Action Facebook page stated, “Today our legislature chose the anti-human rights lobby over public safety. Quit calling them antigun groups. Being able to possess a weapon to defend oneself from criminals and tyrants is a human right.”

Another observed, “This new law shows the depth of stupidity in Olympia. They think that some person hell-bent on killing people will suddenly follow the law because they could get a misdemeanor charge for magazine capacity. That’s insanity.”

Now, Evergreen State gun owners are saying the only cure for such “insanity” will be taking the House, and maybe the State Senate, away from Democrats this fall. How well that effort does will depend upon whether the anger now being expressed translates into voter turnout in vulnerable legislative districts this fall.

Electable candidates must be recruited, campaigns must be formed and financed, and gun owners will have to register and vote, and all of that involves more than—as Fricks noted above—posting a million “we will not comply” messages on social media.

Gun owners in Virginia did it last November when nobody expected they would. Now it’s Washington’s turn.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman


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