Washington’s Starter Magazine Ban
Following in the footsteps of other anti-Second Amendment states, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed three new gun control measures last week. The bills include a ban on so-called “ghost guns”, further bans on carrying firearms in public places and of course, banning magazines over ten rounds. With this, the Evergreen State joins nine other states who have restricted magazine size in the unfounded claim of public safety.
In the Governor’s announcement, Inslee boasted, “The NRA’s stranglehold on this state has been broken. And the reason is because of the courage of the parents, and the courage of legislators, too …” Here we see the Governor evoke the past reputation of the NRA. Like all politicians who want to sound a little tougher than they really are, he adopted the ‘I took on the NRA and won’ lie.
In a further ridiculous move, the Governor attempted to imply a threat of violence from law abiding firearm owners, closing the state capital for several hours before and after the bill signing. The Washington State Patrol said there was no specific threat, but the closure was a “prudent precaution”.
News stories of the signing attempted to link the new laws to increases in public safety by noting the completely unrelated information that robberies with a firearm in Los Angeles, California, are “up 44 percent from 2021” and “57 percent from 2020. Missing from the story is California’s decades old ban on so-called “high capacity” magazines (the enforcement of which is being held up pending the resolution of Duncan v. Becerra) or that California has the “strongest gun control laws in the United States”, boasting a Gun Law Scorecard Grade of A.
Have you ever wondered why magazine bans are at 10 rounds? There really isn’t any rhyme or reason to it. 15 was apparently too many and seven as implemented and ruled unconstitutional in New York was too few. There certainly isn’t any science or research to support it. If you read the explanation from an extremist gun control, think tank/quasi law center, you see how careful wording is used to justify it. It explains how few self-defense shootings “needed” more than 10 rounds and how many firearms from unlawful shootings were found with “large capacity magazines”. No mention of the fact that more rounds HAVE in fact saved the lives of law-abiding citizens or the ACTUAL number of shots fired by criminals, just the capacity of their magazines. Facts matter, unless you’re trying to infringe on constitutionally protected natural rights.
Limiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to effectively defend themselves under the guise of making everyone safer implies everyone who buys a firearm with a standard capacity magazine is the next mass shooter in waiting. The vast, Vast VAST majority of the 400 million plus personally owned firearms in this country are owned and utilized lawfully. They prevent crime and defend their owners an estimated one to two million times per year in the United States, with defensive uses of firearms outnumbering felonious uses between 30 and 80 to one.
In the title I referred to Washington’s new law a “starter: magazine ban. I call it this because it includes a grandfather clause. Grandfather clauses are a popular way to get gun control legislation to pass. It’s illegal now, but since you already own it, you won’t have to give it up. This makes it easy to sell the ‘nobody is coming for your guns’ line when you don’t have to give up what you already have. But there’s a lot more to it than many realize.
One of the biggest problems with the grandfather clause is your property can never be passed along to your family. How many of us have been bequeathed a firearm or accessories from a parent, grandparent or other relative? Other than the actual monetary value, those items represent a passing of heritage from one generation to the next. Except now, your too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands magazine will never see the light of day again. Hopefully your descendants will be satisfied with what they are allowed to own in the future.
The other, less publicized consequence of a grandfather clause is it is nothing more than words on a piece of paper. At some point, a gun hating politician is going to look at all those grandfathered items out there and simply say — let’s get rid of them. The grandfathered exemption is taken away and your property, the property they promised you could keep for as long as you lived, is now illegal for YOU to own and you must turn it in or be criminally charged for possession of illegal items.
Think it can’t happen? Way back in 2000 California outlawed so-called “high capacity” magazines. Anything over the arbitrary 10 rounds was ruled as too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands unless you already owned them — the grandfather clause. Then in 2016, they changed their minds and removed that exemption. Go ahead and turn them in please.
Grandfather clauses are nothing more than deferred confiscation notices. It may not be for a few years or a few decades, but that grandfathered item is going to be taken and destroyed.
Washington absolutely will update their so-called “high-capacity” magazine law one day and possession of any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds will be made illegal. Count on it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s a fool’s errand to believe that once a law has been enacted, it can successfully be drawn back. Of the thousands of gun control laws passed around the country, precious few are successfully appealed and reversed. The only ones who win from this are the lawyers. The best way — the ONLY way to stop them is to prevent them from being enacted in the first place. And the only one who can do that is you.
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