Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on four firearms bills being considered in Olympia

The House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on four separate firearm bills on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the state Capitol.

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, issued the following statement regarding House Bills 1178, 1143, 1144, and 1240:

“These proposals are a waste of Washington state taxpayers' time and money. The U.S. Supreme Court, in its recent Bruen decision, held clearly that such state laws are unconstitutional and must be overturned.

“Specifically, the Bruen decision held that the fashionable 'two-step' justification for anti-gun laws is 'one step too many' and not valid. Gun-control activists, like the current state attorney general, have relied on that two-step logic to defend their positions. They can't do that any longer.

“The takeaway here is that the governor, state attorney general, and their supporters in the Legislature know these proposals are unconstitutional and will be rejected by the federal courts. So, why are they wasting taxpayer money on futile exercises?

“These bills try to do several unconstitutional things, including banning so-called 'assault weapons,' a term that has no technical meaning, so it's applied sloppily to many types of firearms. These bills also seek to require new government permits to buy or sell any firearm, a plain impairment of rights enumerated in the Washington State Constitution; and create a 'pre-emption' system that puts ordinances in Seattle and other cities above state law. These are terrible ideas!

“These attacks on foundational rights to self-defense are about more than just guns. They are an attack on all foundational, constitutional rights, including your right to free speech, privacy, property, travel, employment, conscience and religion. Your right to self-defense protects all of those other rights. As the Declaration of Independence says, undermining these rights is 'formidable to tyrants only.'

“Anyone in this state who is concerned about protecting their rights to self-defense, especially in these times of rising crime encouraged by bad policy, needs to take action and oppose these bills. By doing so, you are defending the rights of all Washingtonians.”

The 105-day 2023 legislative session began on Monday, Jan. 9.


Washington State House Republican Communications