Washington state bans assault weapons including AR-15s
The AR-15 has been used in some of the bloodiest mass shootings in the country.
Washington state prohibited the sale of most assault rifles on Tuesday, including the AR-15, which has been used in some of the bloodiest mass shootings in the country.
House Bill 1240, signed by Gov. Jay Inslee (D), forbids the "manufacture, importation, distribution, selling, and offering for sale of assault weapons" and identifies dozens of particular guns.
It also forbids any semiautomatic weapon shorter than 30 inches in length and any accessory that can convert guns into assault-style weaponry. The bill makes limited exceptions for guns used in military or law enforcement operations.
“Assault weapons have no reason other than mass murder. Their only purpose is to kill humans as rapidly as possible in large numbers," according to Inslee.
He added that “AR-15s should not be idolized, they should be prohibited, and that’s what we’re doing here today.”
Washington state is the tenth U.S. state to broadly ban assault weapons, joining California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, as well as D.C., according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Inslee also signed two other weapon-related measures on Tuesday, including one that requires anyone interested in acquiring a firearm to complete safety training and wait 10 days. The other permits customers to sue gun makers more easily for "irresponsible conduct," according to Inslee's office.
There have been more mass shootings in 2023 in the United States than there have been days, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last Friday.
"We have had more mass shootings in this country in 2023 than we have days of the year," Mayorkas said at the Council of Foreign Relations.
The number of US children and teens killed by gunfire witnessed a drastic increase between 2019 and 2021, a publication by Pew Research Center revealed.
Since 2006, 2,842 people have died in mass killings in the US, the database, which counts killings involving four or more fatalities not including the perpetrator, showed. On average, a mass killing occurs every 6.53 days in the US in 2023.
Last year marked the most violent year in schools, with 46 shootings reported, The Washington Post revealed. The most recent shooting took four lives at the Covenant School in Nashville earlier in the month.