Welcome to the 2023 legislative session. We wanted to take a moment to get you acquainted with the good, the bad, and the ugly that is already on the horizon for this year. From the start, this year is looking like another attack on Washingtonian’s right to protect themselves. Some of this legislation we’ve seen in years past, some new, some of the old with sharpened teeth. As of now, there are only two bills that deal with protecting the community, while the rest are direct attacks on your ability to protect yourself. There may be more bills introduced throughout the session. You can stay up-to-date on bills and their statuses by visiting our bills page. The current bills fall into the following categories.

Record your position or sign up to testify at committee hearings. Our sign-in page will remain up to date with the latest hearings. You have up until 1 hour before a hearing starts to record your position/sign-in.

The Bad and the Ugly

  • Assault Weapons Ban
  • Firearms purchase permitting and training requirements
  • Removing state preemption on firearms laws
  • Additional open carry bans
  • Industry liability for criminal use of firearm
  • Waiver of firearm rights

The Good

  • Sentencing enhancements
  • Firearm theft

Assault Weapons Ban

This is the 10th consecutive year that the legislature is trying to ban “assault weapons.” There are companion bills introduced into both the House and Senate that would seek to ban “assault weapons.” Read some of the bullet points about the bills, and be sure to contact your representatives to express your position on these bills.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
HB 1180Firearms/assault weapons(Peterson)Comment
SB 5193Firearms/assault weapons(Kuderer)Comment
HB 1240Firearms/assault weapons(Peterson)Comment
SB 5265Firearms/assault weapons(Kuderer)Comment

The bills are being put forward at the request of attorney general Bob Ferguson. Despite his transparent rhetoric of these bills being constitutional, we know, he knows, we know he knows, he knows we know he knows, that these bills are not remotely constitutional. Especially given the recent Supreme Court ruling in Bruen.

  • The bills have an “emergency” clause (for less fatalities than shotguns) which means the bill goes into effect IMMEDIATELY if passed.
  • The definition of an “assault weapon” encompasses virtually all semi-automatic rifles on the market today and those manufactured decades or even a century ago.
  • For now, there is no additional registration requirements or requirement to surrender your property.
  • You won’t be able to buy anything new if the bill passes.
  • For now, you will be able to pass your firearms onto your direct decedents .
  • Moving to Washington with your weapons after this bill goes into effect is a crime.
  • Distribution is a crime. A transfer would meet the definition of distribute. Letting someone use your gun at the range is a transfer, therefore a crime.
  • A violation is a gross misdemeanor punishable by 364 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine.

Additional Information: Article 1, Article 2

Permit to Purchase Firearms

This is a blatant affront to guaranteed rights. There are four bills currently being proposed the in the House and Senate, with the first two at the request of Jay Inslee.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
HB 1143Firearms/purchase & transfer(Berry)Comment
SB 5211Firearms/purchase & transfer(Liias)Comment
HB 1144Firearms/purchase & transfer(Berry)Comment
SB 5232Firearms/purchase & transfer(Salomon)Comment

The first two items on the list would require a license to purchase as well as introduce training requirements to purchase any firearm that includes live fire training. The second two items would require training (including live fire) for the purchase of pistols and semi-automatic rifles but appears to skip the licensing the requirement.

Removing State Preemption on Firearms Laws

This is a mess of a bill proposed 6 times previously that has the potential of turning you into a criminal depending on where you are located in the State.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
HB 1178Firearms/local government(Hackney)Comment

More information: Article 1

Additional Open Carry Bans

This bill would ban the open carry of firearms in public parks and hospitals.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
HB 1195Weapons/parks & hospitals(Senn)Comment

Industry liability for Criminal Use of a Firearm

These terrible companion bills would allow people to sue gun shops and manufacturers out of existence because of the acts carried out by a criminal.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
HB 1130Firearm industry duties(Hackney)Comment
SB 5078Firearm industry duties(Pedersen)Comment

Waiver of Firearm Rights

This bill makes updates to the already passed legislation regarding waiver of firearm rights.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
SB 5006Waiver of firearm rights(Pedersen)Comment

Sentencing Enhancements

This is a great bill that would disallow violent offenders using firearms to be eligible for earning early release credits.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
HB 1161Firearm enhancements(Graham)Comment

Firearm Theft

This is a great bill would make firearm theft a class B felony.

BillDescriptionSponsorContact Rep
SB 5049Firearm theft(Wilson, L.)Comment