A small gathering of Washington State gun prohibitionists in Olympia Monday wants legislation to ban so-called “assault weapons” in the state, but a draft of legislation obtained by Liberty Park Press shows that the ban would also include some semi-automatic pistols with threaded barrels for using legal suppressors.
“This is the gun prohibition lobby’s wish list,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, “and we’re confident that the million-plus gun owners in Washington State will make sure this does not pass.
“What we need to ban are assault politicians, not commonly-owned firearms,” he added.
When Seattle’s KING 5 News, the local NBC affiliate, reported about the demonstration, it noted that state Attorney General Bob Ferguson favors the idea, while insisting that he supports the Second Amendment.
The demonstration was led by Washington Ceasefire President Ralph Fascitelli. Ceasefire is one of two Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying groups.
The 11-page draft says the definition of “assault weapon” would also apply to a “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition.” That definition could apply to several popular rimfire rifles that have been in circulation for years, if not decades.
Also included in the definition are semiautomatic shotguns that have: “a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip; a folding or telescoping stock; or an ability to accept a detachable magazine.”
Coincidentally, the demonstration came on the same day that murder suspect Allen Ivanov pleaded guilty to gunning down four teens at a party in Mukilteo last summer, killing three of them including his ex-girlfriend. Ivanov used a semi-auto rifle that he purchased after passing a background check, and the father of a survivor of that attack spoke at the Olympia demonstration.
Gottlieb told Liberty Park Press that gun owners will fight the legislation, and he suspects that if it fails in the Legislature, anti-gunners will use that as a launch pad for another gun control initiative.
The proposed ban is likely to generate lots of opposition from handgunners because it defines such firearms to include semiautomatic rifles and a semi-auto pistol that has “a threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.”
Since silencers/suppressors were legalized for use in Washington a few years ago, thousands of gun owners have purchased and used them. The devices have become especially popular among recreational shooters using indoor gun ranges, or whose gun ranges may have seen increasing encroachment by nearby residential development.
They may also be used for hunting.
Over the years, gun rights advocates have seen how such bans have expanded incrementally over the years in other states, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.