Washington’s AG Pushes Semi-Automatic And Magazine Ban

posted on September 15, 2016

It’s not always easy to get yourself on the news when your only claim to fame is suing a flower shop for refusing to cater to a same-sex wedding. 

Last week, though, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson—who faces a re-election challenge in November—made the headlines by staging a news conference in Seattle to call on the state legislature to ban semi-automatic firearms such as the AR-15, as well as ammunition magazines with capacities of more than 10 rounds. 

Using the recent murder of three people in Mukilteo, Wash., by a gunman reportedly armed with an AR-15 as justification for his ban, and surrounding himself at the podium with other anti-gun Democrats, Ferguson claimed, “These weapons have no place in civilian use.” 

The attorney general also issued a news release, complete with “research” from gun-ban groups such as Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” Washington Ceasefire and Ceasefire Oregon, in which he parroted the usual platitudes about “ending the availability of weapons designed with one purpose—to kill people” and claimed that “This legislation will save lives.”

But will it?

Had Ferguson spent five minutes with Google, instead of robotically repeating the talking points of the anti-gun lobby, he would have found that according to the FBI, in the five most recent years for which statistics are available, rifles of any kind were used in just 1.8 percent of all murders in Washington state.

Ferguson’s gun ban isn’t limited to semi-automatic rifles. It also would outlaw every magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds—which includes the majority of the most popular pistols available today.So even if people willing to violate the laws against murder suddenly decided they didn’t want to risk violating Ferguson’s gun ban, that would “save lives” to the tune of about three per year.

But of course, criminals don’t obey gun laws any more than they obey any other law

So the only thing that will change as a result of Ferguson’s proposed gun ban is that law-abiding citizens like you will be further disarmed and left at more of a disadvantage when faced with criminals who are willing to violate every gun ban, every magazine capacity limit, and every other law known to God or man. 

Because remember: Ferguson’s gun ban isn’t limited to semi-automatic rifles. It also would outlaw every magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds—which includes the majority of the most popular pistols available today. 

But maybe there’s some method to Ferguson’s seeming madness: Assuming that Washington state adopts Ferguson’s “assault rifle” gun ban, the simple fact that such firearms are used exceedingly rarely in crime dictates that it’ll have no effect on overall crime rates—even if it’s obeyed by criminals, which it won’t be, and even if it’s enforced, which is equally unlikely, given Ferguson’s evident disinterest in enforcing Washington state anti-gun laws already on the books.

So, when Washington’s crime rates remain unchanged, you can bet Ferguson and his fellow anti-gun Democrats will come back and demand more gun bans—perhaps bans on handguns, which are used far more often by violent criminals in homicides than rifles of any kind. And again we’ll surely hear the platitudes about “weapons designed with one purpose—to kill people.” 

In that sense, the strategy of Ferguson, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats makes perfect, if frightening, sense. As Washington, D.C., columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote in 1996 of the Clinton “assault weapons” ban, “Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.” 

Viewed in that light, Washington state’s so-called “universal” background check scheme, and Clinton’s demands that the same law be imposed nationwide, have a much clearer motive. As even Obama’s own Justice Department admitted, the effectiveness of such a law “depends on ... requiring gun registration.” 

And as we’ve seen around the world throughout history, as well as here in the United States already—from New York to the District of Columbia and from Chicago to California—gun registration leads inevitably and invariably to gun confiscation.


Washington state AG Ferguson may be desperate to get himself into the news as he faces a re-election challenge, but that’s no excuse for him to diminish your right to defend yourself and your family from criminal attack. Washington state residents should contact their state legislators in Olympia. Tell them to reject Ferguson’s gun-ban scheme and protect your Second Amendment right to defend yourself and your family. Most of all, let them know you’re paying attention to what they’re doing, and that you’ll be voting accordingly on Election Day. To find your representatives, click here.


Dianna Muller
Dianna Muller

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