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Marko Liias supports bill to restrict possession of large-capacity magazines


Last updated 1/28/2021 at 10:59am

Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood)

State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) testified last week in favor of SB 5078, which would ban the possession and use of large-capacity firearm magazines in most circumstances.

Liias represents a portion of Edmonds in the 21st Legislative District.

"On the evening of July 30, 2016, my community was changed forever by a preventable tragedy," said Liias, referencing a shooting at a house party in Mukilteo.

"We lost three beautiful lives-Jordan Ebner, Jake Long, and Anna Bui. Will Kramer was seriously injured and thankfully has made a full recovery. Dozens of young people went through something no person should ever have to experience."

"The only reason that more tragedy did not take place that evening and more lives were not lost was because the shooter ran out of ammunition and had to reload. Had he had a smaller magazine with less rounds available, I believe we would have prevented some of the tragedy that happened that night."

The bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of large-capacity magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It includes several exceptions that build on existing state laws and allow use of high-capacity magazines at licensed shooting ranges or by law enforcement, along with other circumstances.

Nine states already restrict magazine capacity and six of those states have a lower rate of gun violence than Washington, according to the state Attorney General's office.

The bill would also exempt large-capacity magazines in possession if the bill goes into effect and allows for a legal inheriting process in line with similar firearms laws already in place in Washington state.

"It sets out a reasonable framework for protecting public safety while recognizing and respecting our fundamental constitutional rights," said Liias. "I believe this balanced approach that focuses on gun responsibility but keeps these accessories out of the hands of mass shooters is the right approach for our state."

SB 5078 would need to be approved by the Senate Law & Justice Committee by Feb. 15 to be eligible for continued consideration during the 2021 legislative session.

The session is scheduled to adjourn for the year April 25.


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