Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on passage of so-called ‘assault weapon’ ban

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, issued the following statement regarding the passage of a bill that impairs Washingtonians' right to bear arms.

“During evening debate, minutes before a legislative cutoff that would have left this bill dead, the Washington State House voted to support a so-called 'assault weapon' ban. This is disappointing. The bill is clearly unconstitutional. It impairs all Washingtonians' right to defend themselves, their families, their neighbors, and the state.”

“It's heartbreaking to hear promise after promise made that this unconstitutional proposal will make children safe and save people's lives. Those promises are false—the bill won't do that. Decades ago, the federal government experimented with a so-called 'assault weapon' ban. It had no demonstrable effect on crime rates. Banning certain types of firearms doesn't deter crime. On the contrary, there's anecdotal evidence that it increases violent crime by emboldening criminals.

“Most importantly, this bill is a waste of Washington taxpayers' money and resources. The U.S. Supreme Court's recent 'Bruen' decision states clearly that state laws like this proposal are unconstitutional and should be overturned. If this poorly-conceived proposal actually becomes law, it will be challenged in federal court. And it will very likely be overturned.

“We need to focus instead on passing laws and taking other actions that restore and encourage moral behavior and civil society. That's what will make kids safe. That's what will save people's lives. That's what will heal our state.”

House Bill 1240 seeks to ban 'assault weapons,' defined in the bill as a type of semi-automatic rifle, including certain criteria like being shorter than 30 inches in length and the ability to accept a detachable magazine. The measure also bans several other types of firearms, including pistols, shotguns, and many other guns that are utilized for self-defense and hunting.

HB 1240 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications