Legislation restricting sale of high-capacity firearm magazines headed to governor’s desk for signature

21st District Sen. Marko Liias

Legislation to restrict the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines was approved by the Washington House of Representatives on a 55-42 vote Friday.

Senate Bill 5078, sponsored by 21st District State Sen. Marko Liias, prohibits the manufacture, sale, import or transfer of large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The approved legislation does not ban the current possession of a high-capacity magazine.

“Enough families have experienced the tragedy of gun violence in our state,” Liias said in a news release announcing the bill’s passage. “It is long overdue that we step up to protect Washingtonians from mass shootings. The Legislature took that step today by voting to limit high-capacity magazines, and our communities will be safer for it. This is a common-sense policy that will save lives, and I am grateful for all of the years of advocacy that led to its passage.”

“In our state, Mukilteo and Burlington have been traumatized by shootings involving high-capacity magazines. And we all know the far too many incidents that have occurred in other parts of our country,” said Rep. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle), who sponsored the House version of the legislation. “These magazines make mass shootings easier and fuel the tragic shootings that happen every day in our communities. I have been fighting for this policy for years and am proud to have been the House lead. It is long overdue that this historic and life-saving legislation is finally going to get to the governor’s desk.”

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell, who prosecuted the gunman convicted of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill three young people and injure a fourth during a Mukilteo house party in 2016, said “the historic passage of ESSB 5078 is a ringing triumph for political courage and a monumental victory for community safety over the enduring calamity of preventable gun violence. While no act of legislative grace will ever bring back to life Anna, Jake, and Jordan or fully restore the well-being of those directly impacted by a gunman’s cunning madness on that summer night in Mukilteo in July of 2016, the bill’s passage gives us hope for a safer community. And in doing so, honors the lives of Anna, Jake, and Jordan and perhaps, in some small but important way, eases the abiding pain for the living from the indescribable terror on that day.

“To those brave legislators in the House and Senate who voted for the bill, including those in the Snohomish County delegation, thank you for your courage, persistence, and common sense,” Cornell added. “And to the bill’s sponsor, 21st LD Senator Marko Liias, bravo!”

The legislation was introduced at the request of the Washington State Attorney General. Nine states already restrict magazine capacity, and six of those states have a lower rate of gun violence than Washington, according to the state attorney general’s office. Data shows that the sale of high-capacity magazines is the single best predictor of mass shooting rates in a state.

After passing both chambers of the Legislature, the bill will now head to Gov. Inslee for approval. The 2022 session is scheduled to adjourn on March 10.

29 Replies to “Legislation restricting sale of high-capacity firearm magazines headed to governor’s desk for signature”

  1. Waste of time and money that could be better spent on people that die of drug overdose which kills tens of thousands of more people every year than these magazines do even 3 times more than all guns do. And people that want the high capacity magazines will still get them and there is no crime for posession. But I guess if it helps your virtue signaling political career it’s all good right. Did I mention they are giving ou fully automatic assault rifles with high capacity magazines to anyone who wants one in Ukraine right now. Maybe if they were better armed before they wouldn’t have had to worry about a invasion from Russia? But the west convinced them they didn’t need their guns and bombs that we would protect them how is that working out?

    1. Curious if the police are going to switch to low capacity magazines Instead of standard? What about new hires that need to get a service gun, are they going to have to settle for a short mag for their 9mm? Or are police going to be exempt from the laws the rest of us have to follow? How about purchase of used guns, are they going to be required to be sold without the standard magazines they came with? You want to curb gun violence go after the drugs the gangs the cartels that is where 99 percent of the gun violence comes from not standard capacity magazines. Stupid is as stupid politicians are.

  2. If folks who cared about gun violence (and were not gun owners) actually cared about solutions, they would work WITH gun owners to get there. Here is the thing though. This legislation will not stop shootings like is falsely advertised by all those pushing it. And, the wedge around the 2nd amendment and the supporters and non-supporters has been driven as far in as possible with this passing. Another out of touch law by out of touch people who care more about disarming law-abiding citizens than stopping rampant crime in our state by actual criminals.

    1. Most pistols have 11 round magazines, stock.
      It basically would ban the sale of most pistols (they come with a magazine). This law was written by people who don’t know things.

      1. That is incorrect. The two most popular round counts are 17 for the Glock 17 which is the most common pistol sold and 30 for the AR rifle platform, which is the most popular rifle sold in the US. I have been a firearm collector my whole life and know many gun dealers. This is how I know. But you are correct that it does cover the most common magazine limits that come with the guns most people are buying.

        1. Tom, 17 is more than 11. What is with MEN commenters who [push glasses higher up on nose] “Actually….”?

          Everyone other than Tom, 11 rounds was chosen as a means to effectively ban most firearms. Note in California (where Open Carry is legal in few cases), police will routinely stop carriers to count the rounds. That practice went to court and was banned. Then, California banned large capacity magazines. A Superior Court ruled it unconstitutional. The 9th Circuit overturned that decision, and now it’s going to SCOTUS.

          The 9th Circuit said that because home defenders statistically needed only a few rounds to defend their homes, then the magazines only needed to hold a few rounds. Note… The deadliest school shooting (Virginia Tech) was tragically carried out mostly using 10-round magazines. He had a couple 15 round magazines, but just loaded 19 individual magazines to overcome the capacity limit. Marco’s joke law will no stop school shooting, seeing how most school shooters are already compliant. There are real ways to stop these tragedies no one wants to talk about.

          There are [a minority] instances where home defenders needed higher capacity magazines. But the 2A isn’t about home defense either. Note that the United States has never been invaded. Private gun ownership, guns capable of prolonged engagement, is oft cited why. There’s now no magazine limit in Ukraine.

        2. I was merely commenting that you were incorrect in stating that most pistol magazines have an 11 round magazine stock. That is just patently false. It is in fact you who are in the “actually” crowd most of the time here, Matt. I even agreed with the rest of what you said. My mistake for even responding. Should have known better!

  3. The democratic politicians in Washington DC & in this state should be more concerned about the drugs pouring across our southern border which are killing our children today and very day !!!

  4. This is virtue signaling, at best. I took two gun ownership classes within the last year. It doesn’t take me more than a few seconds to change clips. An expert could do it much faster.

    And it’s already illegal to shoot someone and kill someone but it doesn’t stop the bad guys. The bad guys will get what they decide they want, law or no law.

  5. It isn’t that gun magazines are too big, it’s that bullets are too cheap. One hundred dollar each bullets would do more than this silly feel good law will ever do to solve any real problems for society. We finally learned to tax the hell out of “legal” alcohol and “legal” tobacco to help push down over use. We ought to do the same thing with “legal” bullets.

    We should also legalize the use of many recreational drugs and sell them to addicts cheap enough that there would be no extraordinary profits available for the cartel creeps and gangsters with all their guns and firepower. Just put them out of business economically.

    We should make substance abuse treatment virtually free and readily available for anyone who seeks it. Of course we’d rather be good puritans and build more expensive cages to keep all our “deviants” in. Makes us feel like better people.

    Finally, all the high capacity firearms in the world would not have saved the Ukrainians from Putin. Putin has the ultimate doomsday weapon at his disposal which is the only thing keeping him in power and allowing the poor Ukrainian citizens to be carpet bombed into oblivion.

    The U.S., Biden and NATO need to grow a pair and tell Putin he’s out of there in a week or we are coming at him full bore with all we’ve got. We fought a bunch of stupid wars and are now ducking the one that we actually should be engaging in if we really believe in democracy.

    World War III has already started and we are stupid not to call Putin’s bluff because it will only get worse over time. Nuclear war is unlikely because that would be a quick death sentence for Putin, whose only goal in life is self preservation. Narcissistic sociopaths like Putin (and Trump at home) are only about one thing – self love and self preservation. All they understand for sure is a bloody nose.

    1. Clinton 100 dollar bullets would only give the black market/cartels something else to sell. I agree drug treatment should be more available and in some cases be mandated by the courts. So maybe we should turn some of those jails into forced treatment facilities. I would beg to differ on if the Ukrainians were armed like we are that Russia wouldn’t be deterred from invasion. Russia could have bombed them but boots on the ground would have been met with overwhelming resistance. Ukraine when they dissolved from the Soviet union in 1991 had a much stronger military and nuclear weapons but gave that up in exchange for investment from the west, I don’t know the details. But that is what happened. Since then they have not invested in their ability to defend themselves and have gotten weak giving Russia a opportunity to invade. Russia itself is a shadow of its former self but still have a formidable force. Many mistakes have been made since the fall of the Soviet union by the west which has led to where we are today. I got my fingers crossed we don’t screw this up at some point we are going to need to give Russia a off ramp or your ww111 is very much in the cards.

    2. Expensive bullets are like a poll tax. Poor black people have the right to bear arms, Clinton. Private gun ownership by black people has always been under attack by democrats, because guns were integral in how black people achieved civil rights in the first place. Today, most people of color are prohibited from owning firearms because of inner city laws that punished non-violence crime with a felony, and the fact that no one can have guns in a home if a felon is also in the home.

  6. Murderers, Felons, Rapists, Terrorists, etc. are trembling in their boots over the passage of the Liias bill….not!

  7. Make sure you contact 21st District Sen. Marko Liias and let him know how you feel about this legislation.

    I for one will not be supporting Marko. Real progress is investment in mental health, support and education for families and keeping repeat violent criminals behind bars.

    We live in a culture that glorifies violence, parents should talk to their kids.

  8. Yay Senator Lias!
    Thank you !
    We need more common sense gun and bullet control legislation at all levels of goverment.

    1. You are one silly goose Bill! This is not common senses, especially when it only will hurt law abiding gun owners. Anyone who wants these can easily still get them right next door in Idaho, all it does is handicap gun owners in WA. Just more laws controlling you and me. Govern me harder daddy! I have too much freedom! Goose.

  9. Thank you Senator Liias, for your courage to support and sponsor this common sense legislation!

    We have far to many firearms in our neighborhoods, cities, and country, and no one not in the military needs to own assault-style weapons that use large ammunition clips. If guns and these types of firearms made us safer, we would be living in the safest country in the world (fact: we are not). Quite the opposite: we are an aberration, a violent gun-crazy society, and an outlier compared to other western nations.

    While a small minority of paranoid individuals desire to keep their weapons of war handy, just in case the boogeyman government, or perhaps some drug cartel, or ______ (fill in the blank) come breaking their door down, most rational people know that guns don’t make you safer; the best and most recent research shows the opposite: that communities with more firearms and weak gun laws have the highest rates of violent crimes, gun-related hommicides, and suicides. Passing this legislation is a step in the right direction!

        1. Laurence, Japan leads the first world in suicides, and they have basically no guns. Does the magazine limit of 11 bullets somehow reduce suicide? People are having a tough time with these concepts.

        2. Laurence, how do you suppose that restricting high capacity magazines will reduce suicides, given that is the topic at hand?

        3. The FBI’s website is “ring wing misinformation”?

          Btw – How does magazine capacity relate to suicide?

  10. “the best and most recent research shows the opposite: that communities with more firearms and weak gun laws have the highest rates of violent crimes, gun-related hommicides, and suicides. Passing this legislation is a step in the right direction!”

    Take Chicago, New York and DC, for example. (The most severe gun laws in the U.S.).

    1. Nonsense – all, ALL, of the cities you cite have the strictest gun laws in the country and the most gun crimes. And yes, the magazine size is an attempt at a backdoor limitation on semi-automatic gun ownership.

      Cliff – know your facts before speak. Just dumb.

      Laurence – been to Third and Pike in Seattle lately? If not, best go armed. The police won’t protect you.

      Again, just dumb.

  11. The “big magazine” law is aimed at a pretty irrelevant target. No one who knows anything about handling a gun needs 10 or more rounds either to defend the home or to create mayhem – solutions to gun violence lie elsewhere. At the same time, it has to be said that there is no One Grand Solution. Rather, an array of solutions needs to be put forward, but truth to tell, pro-gun voices are as devoid of good ideas as pro-control advocates; the first seem never to listen to, or respect their neighbors fears and never seem to come to the table with positive ideas; the second seem usually to bring forth feel-good ideas like this ineffective law.

    Both sides are guilty of hysteria, name-calling, and intransigence. Until both sides are genuinely willing to listen respectfully to each other, ready to make some compromises in the interests of the whole, ready to stop screaming at each other, and are ready to propose useful, sensible, enforceable laws and steps, a headline in today’s Washington Post will continue to show what a mess we have all made of this:

    “Firearms have cost 12.6 million years of life in just a decade
    “Gun deaths increased by 0.72 percent every year, rising from 47 percent to nearly 51 percent, researchers found.”

    And three shootings in Seattle in the last week…

  12. The right to bear firearms is from Amendment 2 of our Constitution which reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. That doesn’t mean someone gets to tell you how many bullets you have or how many guns. The government officials, also known as public servants, we elected into office swore an oath when they took office to protect and defend the constitution. Marko Liias is undermining the constitution by infringing uponl right of the people. No one has anything to fear from ordinary citizens. An armed citizenry is who stops the bad guys when people defund police or hire unqualified police to fill some equity quota. There are many times when good citizens have stopped criminals in their tracks because the citizens were armed. And it takes lots of practice to safely use a firearm, Clinton. It’s often not a one shot prospect. People stepping up to stop crimes weren’t afraid of some boogyman, Laurence. It’s criminals that do horrible things with guns, cars, machetes, fentanyl. All the laws in the world won’t change that. Criminals don’t care about laws. Engaged parents rearing kids with morality, the knowledge of right and wrong, and the value of life will decrease crime, not counting bullets. And Lawrence, how do you support your subjective statement that were are a “gun-crazed society?” I think it’s more accurate to say we have many people who do not value life and want to take what does not belong to them.

    Keep your hands off my guns and my right to be armed. I am a responsible and moral citizen and one day, I might very well save your life or the life of someone you love.

  13. I’m still waiting for Marko or his office to clearly explain which RCW gives the Governor the power to declare a state of emergency across the entire state for a pandemic? No response whatsoever, from him or any other living being.
    And they know exactly what they are doing. It’s the Australia and Canada prototypes. Hopefully, citizens are going to start defending their rights.

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