(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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While the satisfaction of sticking it to “the gun industry” is a matter of perspective, the promise that [Washington State’s] new laws will measurably improve public safety seems highly dubious, especially when it comes to the semi-automatic rifles that [Governor Jay] Inslee and the Democrat-controlled Washington State Legislature have deemed intolerable. H.B. 1240, which makes Washington the 10th state to prohibit the production, sale, and possession of “assault weapons” (counting Hawaii, whose ban is limited to pistols), takes the familiar approach of targeting specific models and other firearms that meet a set of arbitrary criteria. Like the other bans, it exempts currently owned guns.

In addition to a list of models that includes the AK-47 “in all its forms” and the AR-15 “in all its forms,” H.B. 1240 applies to any “semiautomatic, center fire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine” and any of nine features. The prohibited features include pistol grips, folding or telescoping stocks, flash suppressors, muzzle breaks, barrel shrouds, and threaded barrels.

Here is how The New York Times explains the logic of this definition: “AR-15-style rifles have been a particular point of concern among gun control proponents as they have often been the weapon of choice in mass shootings. The high-capacity firearms can fire rounds at a greater velocity than a handgun, resulting in more severe injuries.”

Contrary to what the Times says, “AR-15-style rifles” are not the “the weapon of choice” in mass shootings. “Handguns are the most common weapon type used in mass shootings in the United States, with a total of 161 different handguns being used in 111 incidents between 1982 and April 2023,” Statistica Research reports. “These figures are calculated from a total of 142 reported cases over this period, meaning handguns are involved in about 78 percent of mass shootings.”

That jibes with a 2022 National Institute of Justice report on public mass shootings from 1966 through 2019, which found that 77 percent of the perpetrators used handguns. About a quarter of the killers used weapons that would be covered by legislation like H.B. 1240.

Several of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history—including the 2007 Virginia Tech attack, which killed 32 people, and the 1991 Luby’s massacre, which killed 23—involved ordinary handguns. It seems clear that even eliminating all “assault weapons,” which H.B 1240 does not purport to do, would not prevent such crimes.

Mass shootings, of course, account for a tiny share of all gun homicides. In the broader picture, the role of what the Times calls “military-style semiautomatic weapons” is even smaller. In 2021, according to FBI data, rifles of any kind, only a subset of which would qualify as “assault weapons,” were used in 6.5 percent of gun homicides where the type of firearm was specified. The share for handguns was 87 percent.

— Jacob Sullum in Washington Is Now the 10th State With a Logically and Constitutionally Dubious ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban

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51 COMMENTS

  1. Washington state is keeping the stupidity wagon rolling.
    Another state to not move and move from if possible.

    • In fact by the common law, all firearm possession laws are unconstitutional as the Constitution does not grant such a privilege to our public servants to enact such laws.
      All gun possession laws are civil right felonies.
      ==
      In reading Federalist 49 by Madison, the man who wrote most of the Constitution, speaks of how our inalienable rights would be protected from interference by government by “constitutional limitations”………..that which is not privilege to government is absolutely denied.
      ==
      As ignorance of the law is no excuse, all such laws are civil rights violations and felonies in the eyes of the Constitution.
      Even the Law School at Harvard would totally agree.
      ==
      ==

  2. No civilized nation on earth permits anyone who wants one to own weapons of mass destruction. Paddock would never have been able to mow down 420 people in seconds with a bolt action rifle.

    There is no legitimate reason to own weapons of war, they were not designed for hunting but to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    The Far Right will scream they need such monstrous weapons to overthrow the government, like they attempted to do on Jan 6th and establish a 21st Century Right Wing Dictatorship with Herr Drumpf as Dictator for life. That is another reason people should not have assault rifles. If you want change in government you have to do it peacefully according the the will of the majority of the people and if you lose the election lose like civilized human beings not like Nazi Storm Troopers. Show me the difference between the WWII Nazi’s and the Far Right as there is no difference because both groups are one and the same and both believe in the same twisted hateful racist ideology. They want an all white dictatorship.

    • Hey, you can’t only shout “NAZI’S!!” 862 times, that is too simplistic, gotta mix it up with “climate change”, “transphobia” and “abortion.” Otherwise you seem like a caricature of a real person, groteque and pitiful, consumed by silly outrage.

      Remember the good news, Jesus loves you.

    • A mass murderer could kill just as many people with a 12 gauge, pump action shotgun loaded with buckshot if they stood off from a crowd to enable the pattern to spread wide enough to kill multiple victims with each round.

      • To your point, more and faster still with a fast action SA and drums.

        On my favorite, they hold 20. Sure, up to 30 is a thing on that one, but the bulkiness is retarded like the extended box types. Whereas the 20 is in the Goldilocks zone being slightly less length compared to a box 10 rd.

        Only real downside to these drums aside from being open frame, is the cost. Pair will set you back as much as the gunm originally sold for, + a hefty shipping charge.

        As for the extended boxes which are based on (2) 10 or 12 modified and clipped together, they can be had up to 29 cap, with a new +5 base plate that’s just come on to the market. Stupid long for anything other than what they were designed for, and that’s open class or range only.

        • Before the typical whine appears, I have 3 long term test subject m4gs sitting around for the last 5 years fully loaded, all with cheap PMC hulls. Which I pull and inspect at 6 mo. intervals. Shell deformation? None.

          In gunm? Lasts around 5-6 months jammed up against the bottom of the carrier. Premium hulls 12-14 months. Could lock the bolt open, and it’s not a problem. Metal fatigue doesn’t set in from the spring being compressed.

          Solution; I use brass hulled on the first in the m4g4zine and I always load in the +1 config for a factory shell first. It’s a reload with #4 plated, & a FC wad with a wax seal over a shot card. Disassembled a couple of Fed shells for the components. Have another brass bunch in OO and OOO too for other scenarios. Misspelling intentional, as usual.

      • elmer – point scored – IIRC the dirt bag name deleted in Aurora used a shotgun (Remington 870?) to cause most of his carnage after the AR pattern rifle with a drum mag malfunctioned.

    • How come so many euro countries let their people have weapons of war still?

      The far right are Nazis trope is ridiculous. Wanting people to be free and also protecting the innocent from psychotic scum bags is one of the furthest things from Nazism. Nazism and Communism are tongue kissing cousins. They are both leftist ideologies. So, Dacian, wave to your cousins because you both hold almost the same views.

    • i got news for you.
      it isnt the white, neo nazis who are murdering people. 2/3s of all homicides are now committed by African-Americans.

      • That’s true. And the last 4 mass shootings have been committed by white h0m0s3xu@ls.

        • INCELs, Homosexuals, and Gender Benders for the last 7 or 8 in a row now if I’m remembering correctly.
          If you look back as far as Columbine, there’s a higher number of INCELs than any other Demographic.
          Psychologically speaking, INCELs are easilly manipulated by others, and since there is growing evidence that many of these Shooters have been intentionally Groomed, there’s a high suspicion that these aren’t random attacks, but purposeful and designed to sway public opinion to backing Anti-Gun Legislative efforts.

      • black on black shootings usually involve pistols…some of which have been modified to fire full-auto….

    • RE: darcydodo…”No civilized nation on earth permits anyone who wants one to own weapons of mass destruction. Paddock would never have been able to mow down 420 people in seconds with a bolt action rifle.”

      “There is no legitimate reason to own weapons of war, they were not designed for hunting but to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.”

      dodo…I hate to pee on your mental illness parade but by your own words you are a Gun Control loving slave master and Gun Control loving nazi all rolled up together like a cheap cigar. All rolled up deciding what’s best for slaves picking cotton, Jews in nazi Germany, America, etc.

      With millions of defenseless men, women and children in Recent History imprisoned, tortured and murdered in the most unimaginable ways you can take your rascist and nazi based Gun Control insanity and shove it up your incredibly ignorant pompous behind before I nominate you to be the poster child for a wacko Red Flag Law.

    • dacain, the DUNDERHEAD, ROFLAMOBT! Now you are claiming that an AR or and AK is a “weapon of mass destruction”? You have no clue what you are talking about. A “weapon of mass destruction” does not include the most popular firearm. “Weapons of mass destruction” are pretty much limited to bombs, atomic weapons, etc. But a AR or an AK is not included in any reasonable person’s definition.
      I strongly recommend that you get some professional help for your local psychologist or psychiatrist.

      • Walt – he might get more benefit from consulting a proctologist 😉 although as I understand it a recto-cranial inversion is pretty difficult to repair.

    • Let’s say you’re right.

      Why do the Democrats enact carveouts for the civilian police force in all their gun control bills? If these military grade weapons of war whose sole purpose is to murder as many people as possible have no place on our streets, then surely they should not be in the hands of *any* civilian, right?

      And yet, the Democrats are happy to create a tiered citizenship based on someone’s job.

      Unless you think the police need those weapons to, oh I don’t know, defend themselves?

    • @ Dacian
      What other nations do is inconsequential. What Paddock did or what other nut-cases may do can not be used to deny 2nd Amendment rights.

      Anti-gun feel good laws that state legislators enact in states like Oregon that were vote in and funded by billionaires are also unconstitutional and why Oregon and the Illinois laws are BLOCKED as will California’s law when Benitez rules as will Washington States bans on semi-auto rifles and certain magazines when courts rule. Washington law was based on Interest Balancing and it’s not going to fly.

      It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it! It doesn’t matter if my idiot Governor Inslee doesn’t like it. Feel good laws depend on “interest balancing” by the courts to survive and that test is unconstitutional as held by the USSC in Bruen. “It’s one test too many”

      Caetano v. Massachusetts held that arms in common use can not be banned. Heller held that the people have a constitutional right to have arms for self-defense along with protections extend to arms that were not in existence at the time of the founding and Bruen held that interest balancing, where courts weighed rights against the benefits of a law was not allowed and “was one test too many” Laws must adhere to the plain text of the 2nd A. and conform with laws that were in existence at the time of our founding and that formation period ENDED when the last of our founding fathers died.

      You’re entire argument is inconsequential babble, as usual.

    • Wait, stop, semi automatics are weapons of war meant to kill as many people as possible. And then you brag on your a scoped AK?
      I’ve one semi automatic expressly for hunting ,the rest are for target shuting and general fun.
      I guess yours are for killing people because that’s all you say they are good for.
      Ahhh ohhh, sumbuddy aught to red flag you I think because just what are you planning to do with your scoped AK that’s only good for killing people?
      Was it your ancestors who fcked over the American Indians because you sure are good at double speak.

    • “No civilized nation on earth permits anyone who wants one to own weapons of mass destruction. Paddock would never have been able to mow down 420 people in seconds with a bolt action rifle.”

      I thought you claimed to be educated. Yet you still don’t know the definition of a WMD. I bet your Mom has the precursors for a real WMD in the kitchen and laundry room.

      Your buddy killed 60 and wounded 413. They weren’t “mowed” done. Imagine what your idol could have done had you used the 50lbs of Tannerite he left in the car. A little improvising and the .308 rifle he had would have been truly devastating. Just a good thing your as smart as he is.

      What makes a Country civilized? Is it the rule of law and basic freedoms or is it a hard line restriction on the citizenry? How about Countries that disallow self defense? Are they civilized?

      “There is no legitimate reason to own weapons of war, they were not designed for hunting but to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.”

      As Mr Possum pointed out, you claim to own a scoped AK. If your quote is a true claim, are you admitting that you are planning on a crime?

      “he Far Right will scream they need such monstrous weapons to overthrow the government, like they attempted to do on Jan 6th and establish a 21st Century Right Wing Dictatorship with Herr Drumpf as Dictator for life. That is another reason people should not have assault rifles. If you want change in government you have to do it peacefully according the the will of the majority of the people and if you lose the election lose like civilized human beings not like Nazi Storm Troopers. Show me the difference between the WWII Nazi’s and the Far Right as there is no difference because both groups are one and the same and both believe in the same twisted hateful racist ideology. They want an all white dictatorship.”

      You have yet to identify your concept of the far right. In your manifestos here I have the impression anyone .5 MOA right of Stalin or Pol Pot are your definition.

      We don’t want to overthrow a legitimate Government. We only serve as a check as required by our Constitution. No need for a dictatorship, that is a Leftist idea along with dynasties of rulers. I don’t care what skin color someone was born with, I only care about character. This places me far away from your ideology.

      How many on your Left threatened political violence when Trump was elected? How many rioted? How many used violence or supported violence against anyone not on the Left? How many elections have the Left claimed were rigged or stolen in the last 50 years?

      People like my Grandfathers and Great Uncles fought the Nazi’s, one Uncle is buried in France, you don’t have the moral standing to make comparisons of that ideology to anything you disagree with. Your ideology is closer. You don’t even know what real Nazism was.

      Your just an uneducated child Jerry. And I happen to be in Dayton OH today until Monday. The weather isn’t too bad, maybe you can show these master 3 gun skills you claim to have? Let me know by noon tomorrow, I’ll meet you at your racists gun club. Mind if I bring a friend who has darker skin, is that allowed?

      • 2 against 1000 so he says.
        And I’ll bet $500 to your nickle he ain’t never gonna show up.
        Remember he was afraid to call Gadsden Flag on the phone because GF would stalk him, LOL.

    • “No civilized nation on earth permits anyone who wants one to own weapons of mass destruction.”

      Absolutely correct, and neither does the USA. “Assault weapons” aren’t weapons of mass destruction. We went to war with Iraq over “weapons of mass destruction,” which were nuclear, chemical, and biological, not because they had AK-47s. They aren’t even “weapons of war” or “military equipment” since modern armies issue machine guns.

    • Why do you hate black people so much, racist Dacian? Nearly all the murders in America are committed by young minorities in GANGS…and nearly all the people murdered are minorities. This is a liberal problem, NOT a semi-rifle problem. And learn about the 2nd Amendment, which is asymmetric (Guerilla) warfare against a potential future govt. tyrannical entity.

  3. RE: “In addition to a list of models that includes the AK-47 “in all its forms” and the AR-15 “in all its forms,” H.B. 1240 applies to any “semiautomatic, center fire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine” and any of nine features.”

    If anything deserves to be banned in all forms it is Gun Control simply because it is two words History Confirms is rooted on racism and genocide…There you have it and you do not hear any abolish Gun Control coming from those who are supposed to be on point in courtrooms and elsewhere defending the Second Amendment.

    Gun Control should draw the same public response as its sidekick, “Noose.” Even the dumbest bigots on this forum understand what a noose is.

    WA democRats sit there all high and mighty like Gun Control is as pure as the wind driven snow when History Confirms Gun Control is a toilet America forgot to flush.

  4. And what do these undeniably unconstitutional laws accomplish? They bring out the truth, with regard to what is responsible for a greater percentage of murders and mass-shootings. Now, if this information is used as evidence that the law as written should be considered null and void; we’ve now given them the evidence they desire to write new legislation to ban semi-automatic handguns. What will be the the defense used to prevent that legislation? Looks like we’re going around in circles . . .this waste of legislative time, and tax $$”s needs to be put to a final rest . . . .SUPREMES need to Complete the debate on the 2nd Amendement…..all the half open doors need to be Fully Opened, or Closed. These state led games of Infringement NEED to END.

    • Cuz everyone knows that you’d be waaay deader if you’re shot by say a wood and steel BAR than by a plastic and aluminum AR – I guess at least you’d suffer a much higher degree of moral outrage as you expire if the looney plugged you with that BAR than an AR…

      I already know the answer – they don’t care as long as the obstruct and/or ban any behavior they consider in the way of their paradise on earth and “yucky” – but do the dimwits who concoct these cosmetic gun bans ever think about how goofy what they’re doing is?

  5. Anyone notice both Dimscum© governors from Washington & Illinois are both called “Jay”?! Makes you think😀🙄🤪

  6. Hmmmm. I wonder if the massive media, political spotlight put on the AR15 after a mass shooter uses one has anything to do with other shooters selecting them for their crime?

    These kinds of sensationalized and hysterical reactions, both to the shootings and the weapons used, only ensure we have more of them.

    • At least two shooters specifically mentioned using the AR-15 because of its notoriety, hoping that their actions would lead to a ban and/or confiscation.

      • I personally used A R 15’s in seven different shootings. In every case, they were one shot kills. These ” assaults ” helped to lower the population of wild hogs that were tearing up pastures and my yard. I guess this demonstrates that they have other uses than war.

  7. The elite has us looking at one tree and missing the forest. The three chess moves beyond what is readily apparent is that the gun disarment programs in Hawaii and the West Coast reflect a long range strategy of the Progressives and the PRC. With the disarment of Hawaii and the West Coast (container ship unloading facilities in all 4 states), PRC “peacekeepers” could be rapidly unloaded and secure the Cascades and the Sierras so that a “Progressive” republic could be protected by the PRC. The arguments over modern rifles are the handwaving to distract Americans from the ultimate goal.

  8. For the latest year I can find numbers for (2019) there were 194 murders in WA.

    That’s terrible, obviously, but is a small number when compared to, say, deaths from smoking (8,300).

    Deaths from drunk driving were at their lowest in 2019, and that was still 166.

    Of those 194 murders, 5 were committed with rifles. Not “assault weapons”, rifles of any kind, including but not limited to semiautos. Could be Gramp’s Marlin 336.

    Knives or “other” killed 23 people.

    Hands and f’ing feet killed 12 people, which– if I’m doing my math right– is more than twice the number of people killed with rifles of all types.

    So yeah. This ban is absolute crap based on lies and feelings.

  9. The Left pushes the AR as “a weapon capable of killing lots of people quickly” and is shocked when a mouth breather takes the advice to heart?
    Also the Left, Defund the police and refuse to prosecute violent criminals, yet be shocked when people prepare to protect themselves by buying firearms

  10. While I can only speak about my own uses of AR type rifles, None of mine have ever been used against another human since I purchased my first back in the 1980’s.
    A couple dozen coyotes. Several feral hogs. A few racoons and a couple possums that were getting a little too interested in the chicken coop. Sorry Possum, hope they weren’t close relatives.
    My AK has only punched paper, spattered steel plates and destroyed tin cans since I’ve owned it. Now, my bolt action rifles are a different matter. Several are military surplus and verified to have been issued in wartime. So may very well have been used in combat. As have both of my Garand rifles. The other surplus or former military collectables I have may very well have been used to kill people as well.
    Next issue would be the militia clause of the 2nd. Would it not be preferable to have potential militia members armed with a rifle that would be compatible with military issue stores of magazines, spare parts and ammunition? Should the worst happen and we need to call for militia troops to support and assist the military, having a common weapon or compatible weapon would simplify logistics considerably.
    Lastly, if there is no civilian need for semi automatic rifles, why do the civilian police forces get a pass to use them? And just how do the anti gun folks intend to prevent someone from buying a rifle in another state and bringing into the states that ban sales etc. Search every vehicle crossing the state line? Or how do the idiots propose to prevent the private sales of such firearms without a registration list?

    • if the militia concept is still valid…them weapons like the AR are exactly what the founding fathers had in mind…….

    • I think the 4473 form is registration. It gives someone a name, address, and the serial # of the gunm.

      • possum – yep – the bats recently admitted that they have illegally obtained and/or maintained nearly a BILLION ‘firearm transaction’ records. I’d bet that it is now likely well over that figure. As I have pointed out before, that tells us that there are likely way more than the usually tossed out figure of 450 million guns in private hands. No wonder the hoplophobes want to ‘ban’ as many as they can……………

  11. The Colorado Legislature’s attempt at an AWB, failed to make it out of committee. Voted down by a 7:6. 3 Democrats crossed the aisle to join with Republicans to defeat the bill. No doubt because they didn’t want “Gironed.”
    Colorado passed Capacity Restrictions in 2012. The passage resulted in the almost immediate recall of 3 Legislators by their constituency. In spite of that, then Governor Licksgispooper signed it. TTBOMK, only Denvergrad and its satellite communities are making any attempt at enforcing the law. Further out, LE doesn’t bother unless they catch someone committing a crime with a standard capacity magazine. All Magazines purchased prior to the Ban are still legal to own and better yet, it’s legal to repair these magazines. Which means you can walk into a LGS and ask for a Mag Repair Kit, and the clerk removes a 20 or 30 round mag, takes the base plate off, the spring and follower out, puts it all back in the package, and legally sells it to you. So the Cap Restrict is pretty much a running joke, as there’s no way for LE to determine if a mag is pre or Post ban. That bill is being challenged, and is waiting review from the Appelate Court.

    4 other Anti-Gun bills were signed into Law. 2 of the 4 were immediately challenged.
    Currently, a bill banning “Ghost Guns” is in committee.

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