March 23, 2022 Press Releases

Gov. Inslee Signs Major Gun Responsibility Bills, Including High-Capacity Magazine Restrictions

In addition toSB 5078, the Gov. signed HB 1705 on ghost guns and HB 1630 on armed intimidation

OLYMPIA, WA – This morning, Governor Jay Inslee signed three major gun violence prevention bills into law: SB 5078, HB 1705, and HB 1630. Most notably, SB 5078 will reduce the scope of gun violence in Washington by restricting access to magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This signing marked the end of a years-long campaign to pass this evidence-based policy through the legislature. 

HB 1705 closes the deadly ghost gun loophole by restricting the manufacture, assembly, sale, transfer, purchase, possession, transport, and receipt of ghost guns—untraceable, unserialized firearms and unfinished receivers. HB 1630 builds on previous progress to reject armed intimidation by prohibiting open carry at local government meetings and restricting firearms at school board meetings and election-related offices and facilities.

In total, lawmakers passed six Alliance for Gun Responsibility priority bills into law and provided more than $8M in funding for gun violence prevention programs. 

“Washington just became a safer state,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “We could not be prouder to have finally gotten this lifesaving policy over the finish line. Since 2017, gun violence survivors, advocates, and experts along with our legislative champions, fought tirelessly for this policy. Finally, the legislature matched their courage and took this vital step to keep our communities safe from the scourge of gun violence. This law, along with the other gun responsibility bills passed this session, will save lives. We owe a huge thank you to our champions who have been with us every step of the way working to pass so many of these lifesaving policies.”

More on SB 5078: 

High-capacity magazines, which hold more than 10 rounds, make shootings deadlier by allowing shooters to fire more rounds quickly without having to reload. Because of this, they are favored by mass shooters. They have been used in three-quarters of gun massacres with 10 or more deaths and in all gun massacres with 20 or more deaths over the last 50 years. All six of the deadliest mass shootings in the last decade—Las Vegas, Orlando, Newtown, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, and Parkland—have involved these magazines. In Washington, the Mukilteo, Burlington, and Cafe Racer shootings all involved high-capacity magazines.

SB 5078 targets the supply of these extraordinarily deadly magazines by prohibiting their manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale. It does not prohibit possession of high-capacity magazines. And it provides limited exemptions allowing licensed firearms manufacturers and dealers to sell high-capacity magazines to the military and law enforcement agencies or out-of-state customers. 

Currently, nine states have restrictions on high-capacity magazines. All seven federal courts of appeals that have considered this issue have concluded that restrictions on the sale of high-capacity magazines are constitutional. Most recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s law in November 2021.

See a recap of the Alliance’s legislative victories here, and a fact sheet on gun violence in Washington is here.