Ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds will be banned in Washington state beginning July 1.
The only magazines allowed for sale and importing will be those with a maximum capacity of 10 rounds. By limiting capacity to 10 bullets, the law takes aim at not only handguns, but also semi-automatic rifles — like AR-15 style rifles — whose magazines have a standard capacity of 30 rounds.
“Many of the most popular handguns and modern semiautomatic rifles come standard with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds,” Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of The Second Amendment Foundation, who filed an injunction against the law, told Associated Press.
However, Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general, vowed to “vigorously defend” the law.
“All seven federal appellate courts to consider laws that ban the sale of high-capacity magazines upheld these laws as constitutional,” he told AP.
“The legislature finds and declares that gun violence is a threat to the public health and safety of Washingtonians. Firearms equipped with large capacity magazines increase casualties by allowing a shooter to keep firing for longer periods of time without reloading,” the legislature writes in the first section of the bill. “ Large capacity magazines have been used in all 10 of the deadliest mass shootings since 2009, and mass shooting events from 2009 to 2018 where the use of large capacity magazines caused twice as many deaths and 14 times as many injuries.”
The bill also cites “studies showing that mass shooting fatalities declined during the 10-year period when the federal assault weapon and large capacity magazine ban was in effect” despite the fact that the United States Department of Justice’s study on the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban showed those measures did not decrease mass shootings.
Washington will be the 10th state to enact legislation with a limit on magazine capacity.
“The criminals aren’t going to care. They’re still going to do what they’re still going to do and the only people that it’s going to affect are people that weren’t a problem to start with,” Danny Borne, owner of Dan’s Firearms in Port Orchard, Washington, told the Seattle Times. “There are millions of magazines brought into [Washington] in anticipation of ban [sic], at the end of the day there will be more magazines here than a decade worth of normal sales.”