Washington State Assault Weapons Ban Legislation Carried Over to 2022

In early 2021 the Washington State House and Senate each had a version of assault weapons ban legislation introduced in their chamber.  While 2021 is now coming to a close, the bills that have been stagnant for most of the year will be carried over into the 2022 session for potential action. FPC is encouraging every gun rights advocate to stay aware and engaged as they may still be voted on during the 2022 legislative session.

Both the House and Senate versions of the AWB legislation would limit the manufacture, possession, distribution, import, transfer, sell, offer for sale, purchase, or otherwise transfer of any assault weapon in the state of Washington.  So what is determined to be an "assault weapon" according to these bills? An assault weapon is defined as any of the following:

  • A semi-automatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
  • A conversion kit, part, or combination of parts, from which an assault weapon can be assembled.
  • A semi-automatic, centerfire firearm that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following features:
  • A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
  • A thumbhole stock
  • A folding or telescoping stock
  • A forward pistol, vertical, angled, or other grip designed for use by the non-firing hand to improve control during a high rate of fire
  • A flash suppressor, flash guard, flash eliminator, flash hider, sound suppressor, silencer, or any item designed to reduce the visual or audio signature of the firearm
  • A muzzle brake, recoil compensator, or any item designed to be affixed to the barrel to reduce recoil or muzzle rise
  • A threaded barrel designed to attach a flash suppressor, sound suppressor, muzzle brake, or similar item
  • A grenade launcher or flare launcher

Of note, a person who legally possesses assault weapons prior to the enactment of this law may continue to possess those firearms after the enactment of this law. Individuals may also inherit an assault weapon upon the death of another lawful owner.  However, a person who legally possesses an assault weapon, after the passage of this bill, may not sell or transfer the assault weapon to any other person in Washington other than to a licensed dealer, to a federally licensed gunsmith for the purpose of service or repair, or to a law enforcement agency for the purpose of permanent relinquishment. Any person who violates this law would be guilty of a class C felony punishable by imprisonment up to five years or a fine up to $10,000 or a combination of imprisonment and fines.

To take action against these legislative monstrosities, please use FPC's constituent outreach tool on this page to reach out to your specific state legislators TODAY!  With a concerted effort, gun rights advocates in Washington can help push these bills back yet again.  Thank you for taking action and standing up for the rights of your fellow gun rights supporters in Washington!