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Democrats in Washington state are pushing for a bill which would prohibit the sale and possession of many semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns in the state. House Bill 1240 was introduced to the legislature this month and would ban the manufacture, importation, distribution and selling of so-called “assault weapons.” Some exemptions would be granted to manufacturers selling to the military and law enforcement. The bill states, “The legislature finds that assault weapons are not commonly used in self-defense and that any proliferation is not the result of the assault weapon being well-suited for self-defense, hunting, or sporting purposes.” “Rather, increased sales are the result of the gun industry’s concerted efforts to sell more guns to a civilian market,” it continues.

But gun rights groups are fighting back as Julie Barrett, the founder of Conservative Ladies of Washington, told Fox News Digital, “The Department of Justice reported that 88.8% of gun violence is caused by people who are possessing firearms illegally,” she said. “Creating this new law to ban a specific list of firearms will not make criminals compliant but will penalize responsible and law-abiding firearm owners.”

“Ninety-seven percent of gun deaths are from handguns which did not even make the list of banned firearms in this bill,” she continued, “indicating that this bill is politically motivated and designed to make people feel like the ‘gun violence’ problem is being solved when all this bill really does is infringe upon the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

National Shooting Sports Foundation spokesman Mark Oliva agreed with Barrett, “There are over 24.4 million Modern Sporting Rifles in circulation today, more than Ford F-150s on the road. They are commonly-owned and despite the bill sponsors’ defiance of the facts, these rifles are used for all lawful purposes every day, including hunting, recreational target shooting and self-defense. When viewed in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision, these firearms are protected for private ownership. When the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision is applied, the move by antigun politicians in Washington again falls short as the Court has stated the test for whether a law is Constitutional when it comes to firearms and firearm ownership is the Second Amendment.”

The National Rifle Association also said, “The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the Second Amendment protects firearms that are ‘in common use’ for lawful purposes. “Furthermore, if these types of schemes worked then Washington’s existing firearm related bans and restrictions and red flag laws would have made cities like Seattle and Tacoma safer. The appalling crime rates there speak for themselves.”

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