Once again Bob Ferguson is insisting on punishing law abiding Washingtonians by coercing them with the threat of armed agents of the state should they decide not to comply with the unconstitutional mandates of his proposed “assault weapon” ban.
The sad fact is, should it clear the Legislature, it would do little to reduce gun violence and runs the risk of placing the focus on law-abiding citizens. The language is so egregious. If passed it would effectively eradicate all retail and private commerce in firearms. One only needs to read the definitions to understand this encompasses every semiautomatic rifle and most every semiautomatic pistol in existence today.
Even worse, these types of actions create a black market for banned items. It seems the AG really does want your guns.
The part of the state Constitution most relevant to the ill-conceived assault weapons ban, is this: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of … the state, shall not be impaired.”
Washington’s provision has no controversial “well-regulated militia” clause by which the AG could argue the right only belongs to those citizen “actively serving” in the state militia. Therefore, it is unclear how those who propose to adopt a complete ban on civilian ownership of the very type of arms most suited to defend the state, if and when needed, would pass constitutional muster.
The very purpose of Article I, Section 24 is to prohibit the Legislature from doing exactly what the AG is now currently proposing.
Someone ought to point the obvious out to Bob Ferguson. He ought to explain to the citizenry why he thinks the state constitution doesn’t say what it says.