Rep. Jim Walsh releases statement on bills seeking to limit legal gun ownership

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, released the following statement regarding a package of legislation prefiled for the upcoming 2020 session that he says would infringe upon the rights of gun owners. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee's bills would ban assault weapons and put new limits on “high capacity” magazines.

The 19th District lawmaker calls the bills an “amateurish and constitutionally flawed attempt” to prohibit legal gun ownership. Walsh says the proposals are a strong indication of the lengths the sponsors are willing to go to strip citizens of their constitutional right to bear arms.

“These are statement bills in the worst sense. They reflect a know-it-all attitude that in fact doesn't know much about guns and gun rights at all. The policy is poorly written and not structured well enough that it could be implemented in any reasonable way, particularly the bill looking to ban so-called assault weapons.

“The sponsors use a non-exclusive list of firearm makes and models that frankly use excessive amounts of jargon as an attempt to bully gun-rights advocates. If these bad bills manage to get to the House floor, I can promise a spirited fight and strong opposition to these horrible ideas. 

“As most of us know, there's a controversy brewing in Virginia involving many of these very issues. An out of touch governor and the state General Assembly are pushing policy that strips Virginians of their constitutional right to own and keep firearms. The people of Virginia are responding strongly in opposition to those misguided laws.

“I think we have many of the same ingredients here in Washington state for the same type of crisis—where the people vehemently oppose the elitist and out-of-touch fashions of a small group of elected officials. The ability to protect oneself is a long-held and beloved benefit of our Republic. Often state lawmakers have forgotten their paramount duty is to protect that right—not take it away.

“Rather than show contempt for the foundational rights that have made our state and country strong, our side of the aisle will be introducing bills during the coming session that defend, strengthen and clarify Washingtonian's gun rights.

“One includes a prefiled bill I authored that would put some limits on 'red-flag' policy involving extreme risk protection orders that violate a person's second amendment rights. In many cases, the target is an abused victim in need of the wherewithal to protect themselves against an abuser. State lawmakers need to move to limit infringements, not expand them. These bills are better policy, better law, and better for the people.”

Learn more about Walsh's prefiled red flag bill, House Bill 2196, by clicking here.

The 2020 session, scheduled for 60 days, begins Jan. 13.


Washington State House Republican Communications