Washington Senate committee passes bill banning sale of assault weapons

File: Assault weapons and hand guns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply, Jan. 16,...
File: Assault weapons and hand guns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply, Jan. 16, 2013, in Springfield, Ill.(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:45 AM PDT
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OLYMPIA Wash. (KPTV) - Washington lawmakers moved one step closer to a state-level ban on assault weapons on Tuesday.

House Bill 1240, introduced by the Washington State Senate Committee on Law and Justice, would prohibit the sale, manufacture, and importation of assault weapons in the state.

This decision comes just hours after a gunman shot and killed six people, including three children, in Nashville. The shooter was also killed.

Senators from both parties mentioned the shooting.

“I am here making this comment as a mother of small children, and who fears every day that moment when my kid is going to come and ask me why they are preparing for the next mass shooting,” said Sen. Yasmin Trudeau (D-27th District). “It’s not ok that we’ve normalized a gun culture and I believe we should recognize and appreciate that we have an opportunity to do more today than thoughts and prayers.”

According to the National Institute of Justice, 77% of mass shooters legally purchased at least one of the weapons used in the shootings between 1966 and 2019.

Opponents of the gun ban argue that the focus should be on mental health.

“It’s a really sad situation that happened in Nashville, but this woman that actually did the shooting had a plan and planned it out for a long period of time. She had hate in her heart,” said Sen. Jim McCune (R-2nd District)

The vote passed the Senate Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.