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Washington State Senate votes to Ban Magazines

In a 28 to 20 vote, the Washington State Senate has moved forward with legislation that would ban the sale, distribution, and attempted sale of firearms magazines that carry more than 10 rounds. It does not, however, ban the possession of such items. Citing mass shootings, those involved believe that their actions are in support of public safety.

Referring to standard capacity magazines as weapons of war, Senator Liias had this to say:

“These tragedies are all too common in America, but they can be prevented through reasonable gun safety legislation. The only use for large-capacity magazines is to inflict the maximum amount of injury in the shortest amount of time, which makes them a favored tool for mass shooters. These are weapons of war and they do not belong in our communities.”

Citing three studies, the argument in support of Senate Bill 5078 contends that banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds saves lives, and as a result, is both morally good as a whole, and justifies the right for the Washington Government to do so. Citing that multiple people were either able to escape or stop a mass murder when the perpetrator had to reload a firearm, the argument depends on two key factors. First, that bans are effective in reducing the number of people killed in these kinds of events, and second: they have the authority to do so.

In the forty-two years since 1980, at least 85 mass shootings have taken place in the United States, according to https://www.atg.wa.gov/.

The Washington House of Representatives will review the bill before it is enacted into Law.

This move represents a distinction between two different views on firearms ownership. The first, represented by the Washington Senate, depends on a framework where the legitimacy of a proposed law is evaluated by its suggested utility. The opposing position evaluates a bill by its adherence to enshrined principles such as rights. Since these two views are grounded in different frameworks, they can share data, but are not arguing on the same playing field.

The appeal to the 9th Circut Court of Appeals was cited as an example of a magazine ban that upheld scrutiny. Four points contributed to this decision. First, experts reported that the majority of homeowners only use two to three rounds when defending their home. Second, no plaintiff has provided an example where someone was unable to defend themselves because they didn't have a magazine that carried more than 10 rounds. Third, around three-quarters of perpetrators of mass shootings legally own their firearms. Finally, what they call large-capacity magazines were regularly present in events with 10 or more deaths.

In events like this, residents of Washington State can call their local representatives, as citizens across the country are reminded to pay attention to what is going on at the state and local level.

Thankfully, the new bill does not ban the possession of these magazines.

Also, to refute Senator Liias' claim that there's no other use for a 30-round magazine, they can be used to open a beer bottle.


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